The website was started in response to survey findings that even though 90% of tourists to Israel visit Jerusalem, the average time spent visiting it has fallen to under three nights, said Nir Barkat, Jerusalem city council member and founder of StartUp Jerusalem.
“It is possible to alter the face of tourism in Jerusalem by promoting the city's rich cultural activity and offering tour packages that will appeal to everyone,” Barkat said. He said the tourist statistics vis-à-vis Jerusalem are “startling.”
- 42% of foreign tourists would extend their stay in Jerusalem by at least one day if they knew about entertainment possibilities.
- 12.5% would extend their stay by two days.
- 14% of tourists participate in the city's cultural life.
Barkat said encouraging tourists to extend their stays in Jerusalem by one night would inject an additional $59 million annually into the city's economy. He said GoJerusalem will help that goal by featuring hotel, restaurant and nightlife information, stories about cultural centers and tourist hot spots, and specialized tour packages designed for Muslim, Christian and Jewish groups.
Ilanit Melchior, StartUp Jerusalem Travel and Culture Manager, said GoJerusalem will leverage Jerusalem's cultural institutions to lure tourists and travelers. “Many of these organizations have not been able to get the word out to the world about their high-quality activities,” Melchior said. “We are happy to be able to do that for them through the GoJerusalem platform.”
In addition, cultural institutions in Jerusalem now have the opportunity to submit information about concerts, exhibitions, poetry readings and other happenings around town for listing on the GoJerusalem events calendar. The portal offers service providers a free platform to promote special deals at local hotels and restaurants.
“GoJerusalem listings, articles and calendar items are being provided to the Travel, Tourism and Cultural communities of Jerusalem as a free service,” Melchior said. “Our listings will be the most complete online calendar about Jerusalem.”
GoJerusalem is more than just an events calendar and repository of information. The site is being updated regularly with timely feature articles about the events, individuals and organizations that make Jerusalem one of the world's richest cultural destinations. Abbey Content Services, Ltd., a Jerusalem-based content services provider, has been engaged to update and manage GoJerusalem.
“We're excited to be working on this project, because we know and love Jerusalem's cultural richness, and now we have a platform from which to inform the world about it,” said Alan Abbey, President of Abbey Content Services.
GoJerusalem offers listings of Jerusalem hotels, restaurants, pubs, theaters, museums, events, festivals and more. GoJerusalem has exclusive listings of special travel and tourism packages for Jerusalem offered by leading tourism companies. Some of these institutions are offering specially priced packages exclusively on GoJerusalem.
GoJerusalem will be offering additional special deals, contests, prizes and promotions exclusively for members of the GoJerusalem Club, a free service.
GoJerusalem is underwritten thanks to a generous grant by The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, Lori Heller, Israel representative.
StartUp Jerusalem will make Nir Barkat, Ilanit Melchior and Alan Abbey available to discuss how GoJerusalem will increase awareness of Jerusalem's cultural richness. For more information, please contact Ilanit Melchior, ilanit[.]startupjerusalem.org.
About StartUp Jerusalem
StartUp Jerusalem (startupjerusalem.org) is a non-profit organization aimed at stimulating economic development and job creation in Jerusalem. Its mission is to revitalize Jerusalem and its national and international appeal through development of the city's unique advantages. It believes that aside from improving the capital's economic profile and creating new and high-value job opportunities, the achievement of this goal will also assist in creating harmony between the city's diverse demographic sectors. The organization, chaired by entrepreneur Gideon Ben-Zvi, was founded at the initiative of Nir Barkat, former chairman of Check Point, philanthropist and municipal council member. The Board of Directors of StartUp Jerusalem comprises a wide spectrum of Jerusalemites - Jews and Arabs, religious and secular, new immigrants and veteran Israelis. For more information, contact Jafar Sabbah, Co-Director and Manager, Outsourcing & Business Services, jafar[.]startupjerusalem.org, +972-2-563-0104.
About Abbey Content Services
Abbey Content Services (abbeycontent.com) is a Jerusalem-based provider of outsourced writing, editing, website management and media relations services for businesses and organizations. We provide editorial expertise and strategic media consulting to help businesses and organizations build their brands.