In attendance from El Al (l-r):
Aviva Lavi, Marketing and Training Manager; Jacob Mazgaonkar, Sales & Marketing Representative;
Dinah Kutner, Canadian General Manager
(l-r) Aviva Lavi; Oded Grofman, Consul Director for Canada, Ministry of Tourism State of Israel; Dinah Kutner
When one thinks of destinations that require a little preparation and expert guidance before simply booking a hotel and jumping on a plane, Israel may come to mind. Likewise, Israel can be a somewhat intimidating product for agents whose knowledge of the very popular yet tumultuous region is a little rusty. With the number of Canadians visiting Israel growing steadily every year since 2002, El Al Airlines saw an opportunity to help consumers and agents who aren’t necessarily experts on all that is Israel.
El Al hosted a breakfast recently in Toronto for their travel agent partners to unveil the new “5 Easy Steps to Israel” booking function on their website. The new feature allows the user to book an all-encompassing Israel vacation including flights, car rentals, and accommodation as well as escorted tours. Some agents may be asking how this helps them sell Israel? Well, on the other side of the coin, El Al has also set up a booking function for agents that protects their commission within the consumer pricing.
This revelation left me a bit perplexed since the agents at the breakfast were all Israel experts who seemed to have a strong working relationship with El Al and a dedication to the Israel market. Seems El Al may have made a small miscue when considering the target market for this new feature, as it seemed that many of the agents in attendance left the presentation somewhat dissatisfied. Why make it so easy for those who have not invested the time and effort to develop a thorough knowledge of Israel?
Making it easier to research and book travel product in Israel may not please every travel agent, but the market for those who need the personal touch of an expert to handling their bookings does still seem to be expanding. And Israel has acted on that opportunity to tap into a broader segment of the growing number of Canadians with the desire to visit the Holy Land.