PopUpOasis campaign aims to drum up European tourism in Negev

PopUpOasis campaign aims to drum up European tourism in Negev

The Negev desert

The Negev desert. (photo credit: Mark Neiman/GPO)

A two-week social media competition was launched on Tuesday by the Tourism Ministry in the hopes of bringing European visitors to Israel’s south.

The competition, titled #PopUpOasis, offers each of five winners a four-night, three-day vacation in the Negev in late April that includes airfare and accommodations.

The competition will run through March 22 in Germany, Poland, Spain, Sweden and Finland, and its primary targets are millennial independent travelers looking for an “off the beaten path experience.”

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Competition participants are asked to comment and share a Facebook post by the Tourism Ministry and write why they deserve to win the trip. The winning posts will be chosen based on the content shared and how it performed on Facebook.

The highlight of the free trip will be one night of “Glamping” (a more luxurious form of camping) in the specially built #PopUpOasis located inside the Ramon Crater. There, guests will be treated to a unique experience mixing nature and luxury with “desert inspired” gourmet meals and site specific sports and leisure activities.

The rest of the itinerary includes hiking, biking and rappelling in the Ramon Crater, visits to Timna Valley Park, Kibbutz Ketura, Ein Avdat and Sde Boker.

The Tourism Ministry hopes this initiative will reach not only group travelers but also independent travelers as well, who “make up a significant proportion of the tourists arriving in Israel on European low-cost flights.”

The NIS 3 million campaign is part of a plan to bring Negev tourism numbers from their current 5% of all tourists visiting Israel to 20% within the next two to three years.

According to the ministry, this investment will also go toward improving tourist infrastructure including hiking and biking trails.