Tel Aviv Global & Tourism
Tel Aviv Global & Tourism is an initiative started by the Mayor's Office of Tel Aviv-Yafo dedicated to elevating the city’s global positioning. In 2010, the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality undertook a municipal-national initiative designed to position Tel Aviv as a global city – a leading international business center that specializes in innovation.
The object of the initiative, which is managed by the Global & Tourism team, focuses on making the city more accessible to the world and facilitating its global quantum leap, while collaborating with national, private and municipal bodies.
Tel Aviv Global & Tourism will impact the greater Tel Aviv-Yafo area, as well as residents of the entire State of Israel. It will have a financial, social and cultural sway beyond municipal borders.
For the first time in history, more than half of the human race lives in urban areas. Cities have become major interchanges in a crowded network of commercial, cultural and tourist-related ties that comprise the modernday global world. The term ‘global city’ was coined by Prof. Saskia Sassen in the 1990s, and defines those cities that took a quantum leap and became leading global centers.
Relying on local assets that have a recognized global advantage, global cities are constantly competing with each other for the ability to draw investments, new technology businesses, scientific capabilities, creative talents, international institutions, flows of tourists and large-scale events. A city that aspires to be a key
player in the global arena must formulate a global strategy that enhances its ability to compete effectively for those resources.
A city’s competitive capacity is primarily determined by its existing assets and resources and its ability to develop a supportive environment that can attract what it lacks. A city’s existing assets and resources can be divided into five major categories:
The quality of life that the city offers both its residents and its visitors. This category is comprised of a wide variety of elements, such as standard of living, environmental qualities, access to health systems, etc. The ability to encourage, develop and foster the innovativeness of the city’s human resource, which is the
most important competitive element. It can be measured in the quality of higher education, the scope of investment in research, professional skills, etc.
The image and brand that the city conveys both to the world and to its residents, as well as implementation of the brand and the degree of recognition it receives.
The economic environment provided by the city, which includes not only quantitative economic indices, but also elements that cannot be quantified – e.g. the ease of doing business in the city.
Internal and external connectivity, which can be measured by the geographic range covered by the local airports, intra-city and inter-city mass transit systems, the road network, communications infrastructure, etc.
Tel Aviv’s Quantum Leap
Researchers who have followed Tel Aviv–Yafo’s development identify its potential to take a significant global quantum leap. The city’s centennial, which was celebrated throughout 2009, was the climax of a process that had begun a decade earlier. It entailed the construction and upgrade of dozens of infrastructure projects, cultural assets and historic compounds. That process took place alongside another process, which also began in the 1990s and is connected to the miraculous growth experienced by the Israeli economy. The surge of hi-tech industries turned Greater Tel Aviv into a preferred destination for foreign business people and journalists.
Tel Aviv was ranked one of the two most innovative cities in the world by the Wall Street Journal, and one of the top three tourist destinations by Lonely Planet.
Tel Aviv's Opportunity
The Global City Vision: Tel Aviv - One of the world's 20 Leading Global Cities
The prevailing sense is that the city is on an impressive development curve. The potential to take a quantum leap can be felt everywhere – Will Tel Aviv-Yafo become the next Berlin?
The Mayor’s Global City initiative is expected to last about a decade. The process described below represents the initial stage, which will pave the way for the desired change - A global business center that specializes in innovation and entrepreneurship, with a focus on a ‘nonstop’ tourist city. The Global City initiative will be conducted in two parallel spheres: the municipal sphere and the national sphere.
A Municipal Undertaking
The city’s physical assets are the platform from which the global quantum leap will be taken.
The following assets were built or upgraded during the last 15 years, at a cost of roughly NIS 2 billion: Yafo
Slope|Yafo Port Promenade Project|Bike paths and the Tel-o-Fun bike rental arrangement|the Historic Train Station complex|Culture Square|Habima Theater|Heichal Hatarbut|the new Cinematheque|Sarona|Yafo's tourist district|the new Tel Aviv Museum of Art|Tel Aviv-Yafo Academic College|Tel Aviv Port |Beit Ha'Ir |Free citywide Wi-Fi |Trumpeldor Street Cemetery and more.
The quantum leap will be achieved with assistance from the city's 'soft' assets – this is a city of freedom, tolerance and acceptance of others. A vibrant, pluralistic, and young city characterized by entrepreneurship and technology, which boasts of a blend of east and west that is rare in the world and reveres creativity, entrepreneurship and free thinking.
Managing the change: The Municipality has been implementing a systematic global development methodology. City workers who provide services to residents and foreign visitors, as well as the municipal offices that interface with them, are a key factor in making the city more accessible internationally.
They are also crucial when it comes to taking new plans, facilitating projects, and removing barriers and connecting the city to the world. All these are carried out in conjunction with the Muncipal Change Management unit in the Human Resources Administration.
The Model: From Local to Global
A National Undertaking – “A Gateway to Israel”
Promoting Tel Aviv globally as a gateway to Israel is viewed as a national interest by the Government. The government is a partner to the initiative, and considers Tel Aviv’s international standing an asset that will contribute to Israel’s economy and image worldwide.
Showcasing Tel Aviv is a way to ‘bypass’ the conflict existing in the region. The Ministry of Finance plans to highlight the State of Israel’s central role in the financial markets, and positioning Tel Aviv as a global center of innovation is consistent with the Ministry of Economy’s way of thinking. The quantum leap in tourism is an important component of the Ministry of Tourism’s work plan, and promoting the ‘Tel Aviv’ brand worldwide is a key element of the Brand Israel campaign of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Government Secretariat, Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Education, and Ministry of Culture and Sports are also involved.
Economic growth stemming from international sources and foreign investments will make it possible to fund important social initiatives:
In Israel’s periphery - pooling economic and tourism strengths in Tel Aviv-Yafo and the immediate vicinity will lead to the inclusion of additional areas in the country.
In the metropolitan area – in the eyes of foreign visitors, Tel Aviv-Yafo extends beyond its municipal boundaries and offers a meaningful experience in the adjacent cities as well. Pooling the assets of the neighboring cities creates a single urban domain for foreign visitors – Greater Tel Aviv.
The business sector is one step ahead of the public sector.
Our business partners in the city operate in global business networks and are eager to jointly promote the Tel Aviv brand. International banks, investment firms, hotels and other corporate services – all are encouraging conferences, visits and increased global business activity in the city.
As part of a national policy adopted by the Israeli government to expand and strengthen existing ties with East Asian countries, and recognizing that their economies have the most significant economic growth potential for Tel Aviv, the Global City initiative is placing special emphasis on creating connections and academic platforms that will attract foreign students, networking and ties with investors, and work relationships with relevant partners in the Far East.
Vision: Tel Aviv - One of the World's 20 Leading Global Cities
Partnerships and ConnectivityHuman capital is one of Tel Aviv's most important assets, and the Global City initiative is being formulated with participation by the public and the private sector. The city’s relatively small size poses a significant budgetary challenge, given that Tel Aviv is competing against cities that are considerably larger. Residents of satellite cities, academic institutions, cultural centers, municipalities, hotels and business establishments are key partners to the task of forming a metropolitan domain that pools all its strengths – Greater Tel Aviv.
The ability to forge partnerships with organizations, companies, networks and cities around the world is critical to Tel Aviv global development. Because the city is to a large degree detached from its immediate geographic surroundings, it must build advanced infrastructures that ensure connectivity with Europe and Asia.
Global StandardizationA city that wants to improve its ability to compete for vital resources against comparable cities in the world must adopt global approaches and cultivate global standards. In the absence of a worldwide body that unifies these cities, Tel Aviv Global & Tourism is taking steps to institute global norms and standards that will make the Municipality’s work more accessible to foreign visitors, and to develop a research and rating infrastructure that will facilitate the definition and measurement of targets, and by doing so enhance the Tel Aviv brand.
A city’s worldwide success is rooted in its ability to make unique local assets accessible to global audiences (the GloCal principle – combining ‘global’ and ‘local’). Aware of the importance of preserving the city’s unique culture and history, and out of respect for the mix of components which together make up the city’s corporate and cultural infrastructure, the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality is taking steps to empower Tel Aviv’s local traits from a global perspective, in a manner that preserves their character and uniqueness.
The Global City InitiativeIn 2010, the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality undertook a municipal-national initiative designed to position Tel Aviv as a global city – as a leading global business center that specializes in innovation.
The object of the initiative, which is managed by the Global & Tourism Administration, focuses on making the city more accessible to the world and facilitating its global quantum leap, while collaborating with national, private and municipal bodies. The efforts concentrate on three main areas that collectively produce an infrastructure for growth deriving from global sources:
E.D. - Economic Development
Global Business Center
Israel is viewed in the world as an international hub of innovation, technology, entrepreneurship and hi-tech, whose center is Greater Tel Aviv. The Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality, together with the three financial regulatory agencies - the Ministry of Finance, Bank of Israel, and Israel Securities Authority – regard the city’s strengths as potential for establishing an global business center that specializes in innovation, which will spur new global growth engines for the entire Israeli economy.
The Beta-Site of the WorldTel Aviv’s geographic location (at the crossroads between the economies of Europe and Asia), coupled with its highly developed technology infrastructure, human capital, and distinctive tolerance and openness, render the city an appealing “testing ground’ to ventures and companies from around the world. The fact that Tel Aviv is a small city, which facilitates experimentation and has the ability to contain failure, is a significant global strength and opportunity.
Tel Aviv Startup CityThe Startup City vision aims to take Tel Aviv a step higher in its development, and turn it into a global city which is a vibrant and bubbling hub that attracts entrepreneurs, investors and hi-tech professionals from around the world. The value offered by the city relies on its reputation as a highly appealing natural habitat for startup companies, attributed to a winning synergy of a young population, creative atmosphere and spirited approach, which together produce the ultimate environment for entrepreneurs, startup companies and the hi-tech industry, in general.
Positioning the City as a Global Business CenterIn recent years the Israeli government has spearheaded the development of a global business center. The existence of such a center is contingent on the strength of four main criteria: Business Environment, Human Capital, Market Access and Infrastructures.
Cracking the innovation Code
2013-2014 work plan : to fulfill the Startup City vision, three main anchors that form the base of the work plan were identified:
1. Fostering an innovative, digital and accessible environment
Creative and innovative industries cannot thrive in an environment that is not open, accessible and sharing. To develop and cultivate these values, the Municipality will invest in creating a digital and accessible environment, provide platforms and spaces that facilitate innovation and R&D, and simplify bureaucratic procedures for startup ventures in the city.
Work plan: City Wi-Fi | The Library – A Space for Innovation | Removing property tax barriers|Municipal apps competition – TelAvivApp2U | Transparency and accessibility | Encouraging the establishment of startups in the southern part of the city | Opening a space for entrepreneurship in Kiryat Atidim | Collecting data and setting measurable targets
2. Unveiling the city’s strengths and drawing foreign audiences
To transform the city into an international hub for the global entrepreneurial/technology community, the city will work towards removing barriers to entering and doing business in Israel, make the city more accessible to foreign audiences, and support and encourage qualities that appeal to entrepreneurs, investors and hi-tech professionals from around the world.
Work plan: Startup Visa – work permits for employees of startup companies | DLD Festival – an international conference held in Tel Aviv-Yafo | Making the municipal environment more accessible to foreign audiences | The city's presence at global events and conferences | Hosting foreign delegations in Israel
3. Involving the city’s residents in the Startup City initiative
Through cross-departmental measures and initiatives, the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality is taking steps to instill the values of accessibility and partnership in all the Municipality’s operations and services:
Work plan: Digitel | Open Startup | Municipal committees with public participation | Young adults | Mazeh 9 | The Social Lab
Study Tel Aviv - Attracting Foreign Students
Tel Aviv has been a student city since its earliest days (when the Herzliya Hebrew Gymnasium high school was its beating heart), and about 20 prominent academic institutions and universities are located in Greater Tel Aviv. Doubling the number of foreign students who study in the metropolitan area is an objective shared by the Israeli government and the Municipality. It will be achieved by developing programs in English and targeted marketing, as is common in other global cities. The Administration is taking steps to position Tel Aviv as an international academic destination, with an accent on Startup Studies:
1. Forum of Academic Institutions in Greater Tel Aviv – a joint forum of the Global City and Tourism Administration and the Government Secretariat, comprised of all the academic institutions in the metropolitan area. The purpose of the Forum is to promote joint marketing and development of study programs for foreign students.
2. Startup Studies – developing academic programs dealing with entrepreneurship and innovation tailored to foreign students. Aware that innovation is one of Tel Aviv’s economic and positioning relative advantages, the Administration is taking steps to encourage the development of programs dealing with innovation for foreign students.
3. Developing internships in English for foreign students
In 2012, for the first time in its history, the tourism industry crossed the line of one billion tourists in a single year 3. The annual revenues of the worldwide tourism industry are estimated at more than $1 trillion 4. Accordingly, many cities and countries around the world view tourism as a powerful engine for potential economic growth. The State of Israel, in general, and the city of Tel Aviv, in particular, are characterized by significant tourism potential. The considerable interest shown in Tel Aviv in recent years, coupled with the widespread investments in tourism infrastructures, global connectivity and culture, place the city on the verge of an unprecedented quantum leap. A work plan has therefore been formulated that addresses the overall tourist experience that Tel Aviv has to offer.
Greater Tel Aviv: creating and spearheading an overall tourism product for metropolitan Tel Aviv through collaborations between organizations, bodies and municipalities in Greater Tel Aviv, involving cultural institutions from neighboring cities in major international events (such as White Night), and exposing tourism products from other cities in the metropolitan area as part of the Global & Tourism Administration’s global communications initiative.
Incoming TourismThe City That Lives Outdoors: One of Tel Aviv’s most prominent features is that most of its recreational and cultural offerings are held in the outdoor public space: the cafes, the boulevards replete with activities, and the Tel Aviv lifestyle render the city accessible, dynamic and open.
GloCal – Local Assets with Global Appeal:
1. Jaffa – Tel Aviv’s Old City: embodying 4,000 years of history, authenticity, pluralism and multiculturalism, Jaffa is unquestionably a global asset. Following years of investment in its physical infrastructures, an initiative has been launched to market Jaffa as an integrated tourism product.
2. Judaism as a culture: the first Hebrew City has a rich Jewish heritage. Its pluralism appeals to people who want to know more about innovative Jewish trends. Tel Aviv-Yafo’s tolerant spirit is also articulated in the fact that many religious communities flourish in the city and coexist peacefully side by side.
3. A proud global city: the LGBT community is a prominent and vibrant force which helps shape the city’s image as a hub of tolerance and open-mindedness. Thanks to the local gay community’s reputation, the annual Gay Pride parade and its satellite events, which take place in the month of June, draw large groups of participants.
Many cities around the world have in recent years adopted a two-tier tourism policy which addresses both incoming tourism and domestic tourism. Tel Aviv is an appealing destination in this regard, and offers tours throughout the city for local groups and individuals. There is advertising targeted at Israeli tourists, marketing materials are produced for them, and set experiential products have been developed around the theme of Tel Aviv’s story, the most prominent being “A Tel Aviv Experience” – which is a gamut of tours throughout the city for Israeli tourists.
As a city that seeks to be an appealing and relevant tourist destination, and a place that visitors will want to return to, Tel Aviv must offer tourists an enjoyable stay.
1. Hotels – increasing the supply of hotel rooms in the city by instituting an ‘express lane’ for hotel developers, encouraging the opening of boutique hotels, developing alternative accommodations in homes, etc.
2. Taxis - a program designed to improve the interface between tourists and local taxi services, achieved through a course for taxi drivers dealing with global service standards and an improved tourist experience, conducted in cooperation with the Taxi Association.
3. Tourist information centers – information centers that function as service and information bureaus and marketing platforms for tourists. The centers will be run by a shared management and operate according to a business model that facilitates expanding activities without draining municipal resources. Furthermore, as part of the effort to improve the service experience, content that tourists can enjoy will be augmented, the centers’ look will be adapted to the city’s international marketing language, and greater use will be made of the centers as public venues where local, unique content is offered.
4. MICE tourism – development of a tourism product based on conferences and large groups (including the opening of Pavilion 2 at the Israel Trade Fairs & Convention Center, which will become the largest exhibition hall in the Middle East when completed in 2014).
5. Free tours to become acquainted with the city – a fixed package of free tours offered to tourists and visitors, whose number will increase when major international events are held in the city – e.g. the Tel Aviv Marathon, Art and Architecture Weekend, Gay Pride Parade, White Night and Innovation Events.
6. Circulating and making information accessible – including tourist information about the city and the metropolitan area, tourist sites, major events, and general information. The materials are circulated at the information centers, hotels, and tourist sites throughout the city.
7. The Mayor’s Prize for Tourism – Starting in 2014, the Mayor’s Prize for Tourism will be awarded in order to encourage innovation in the field of tourism and to salute the improved tourist experience that the city offers its visitors.
8. Digital Tourism – Tel Aviv is spearheading a global trend of acquiring tourism services on-line, with EautWithUs, Tellavista, AirBnB, visit-tel-aviv.com and more.
The city's international image is a core asset. Success in placing Tel Aviv in the global spotlight stems from managing the different interfaces and interactions of international audiences with the 'Tel Aviv' brand. An extensive global communications network has therefore been instituted, which reflects an understanding that the city's international branding is to a large degree associated with its branding inside Israel. Accordingly, cooperation has been forged with the Spokesperson's office of the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality and with many public and private bodies working in the city. The global communications network run by the Global & Tourism Administration aims to nurture and support the two main areas of development: business and tourism. The goal of the network is to ensure that all interactions between international audiences and the 'Tel Aviv' brand will tell the same story, be based on the same core messages and speak the same visual language.
Marketing Communications – Tel Aviv: A Nonstop CityBusiness marketing: Tel Aviv’s notable strength as a leading center of innovation, entrepreneurship and hi-tech industries – the “Beta-Site of the World” and “Startup City.”
Tourism marketing: promoting the city as an appealing tourist destination on an international scale (by approaching tour operators as well as target audiences directly), accentuating the fact that it is a beach city with a summer-like climate nearly all year long and a highly developed nightlife.
The ‘Tel Aviv’ brand worldwide: the brand is tested as part of the annual brand research conducted by BAV, a subsidiary of the global company, Y&R. Their brand research encompasses over 50,000 brands and examines their strength annually. The research is used as a platform in the work done by the Tel Aviv International Marketing Committee, which is comprised of leading international experts in the fields of branding and marketing. It convenes twice a year to formulate the Global & Tourism Administration’s global communications strategy. The committee is part of a collaborative effort between the Global & Tourism Administration and the Consulate General of Israel in New York.
The growing interest and media coverage by the foreign press in recent years are an excellent indication of what is going on in the city. Numerous delegations of foreign journalists are hosted in the city, and there are ongoing ties with leading media organizations across the globe. The Administration serves as the main liaison to the international media on behalf of the Tel Aviv ‘experience.’ In the effort to develop the local economy and tourism, two key values are promoted when working with the foreign press: lifestyle (under the Nonstop City heading) and innovation (under the Startup City heading).
Research and Global RankingsPromoting Tel Aviv in various global rankings of cities and as a subject of academic research worldwide.
The research portal: an academic web portal that gathers and encourages publications dealing with Tel Aviv. The academic program is headed by Professor Gili Drori from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Global rankings: make a significant contribution when attracting entrepreneurs and business people to the city, and also help shape Tel Aviv’s international image as an appealing place to invest in.
International Networking - Global Partners
Building work relationships and cross-fertilization with global networks, organizations and cities worldwide as a crucial means for learning, adopting work methods and circulating the message about Tel Aviv among opinion leaders across the globe. These global networks include, among others, TimeOut, European Capitals of Culture, the Open House organization (Houses from Within in Tel Aviv), ECM-European Cities Marketing (a network for promoting tourism and cities), et al.
Global & Tourism
1 Zeitlin , Tel Aviv- Jaffa, Israel
Tel Aviv Global & Tourism | A unit of the Municipality of Tel Aviv-Yafo, aimed at positioning Tel Aviv as a global city – an international business center leading in innovation. We are focused on international development and marketing, tourism development, global partnerships and promoting the Tel Aviv brand in partnership with our stakeholders worldwide.
Tel Aviv Global & Tourism Board of Directors
Chairperson: Mr. Yarom Ariav
Mr. Mickey Gissin
Mr. Eli Cohen
Mr. Alex Gilady
Mr. Raphi Kriman
Mr. Elhanan Meshy
Ms. Sima Ophir
Mr. Gideon Schmerling
Mr. Zohar Sharon
Prof. Zohar Shavit
Municipal Council Member Mr. Yaniv Weizman