Now that you have decided to organize your own Jewish trip tour group, this step by step guide is designed to provide you with useful tips and suggestions for a perfect trip experience for your congregation, temple, family, and friends group to Israel.
Congratulations you have made a rewarding decision by leading a trip to the land of Israel, just like the Western Wall built brick by brick for strength, this Step by step guide can help you with useful suggestions and tips to make your travel tour group efforts strong, spiritual, and successful.
To register a travel tour group date, select or customize an itinerary, and more information:
Israel Tourism Consultants · Use this »form or call Toll Free USA/CAN: 1 800 933 4421
USA: 8230 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048
Seller of Travel CST 2002477-40.
Organizing a trip to Israel provides a sense of great personal satisfaction that comes when you "do good" for yourself, your community and Israel. As you work towards your goal, you will find that others are attracted to and encouraged by your explicit and public commitment to travel to Israel.
How far in advance should a trip be planned ?
Your departure date should be coordinated with us. The general rule is to work far enough in advance to allow ample time to plan and, more importantly, sufficient time to promote your trip to Israel and "get the word out."
When is the best time of the year to visit Israel?
It is always a wonderful time to visit Israel. There are special times and more people travel to Israel during the Jewish holidays and festivals, but in terms of climate and weather, consider the following: From April to October, Israel has basically no rain, and in the summer months Jun to August the weather is temperate to hot. From November through March, the weather is usually cooler with some rain. Aside from enjoying off-season rates during the winter months, tourists often get to enjoy the other qualities of a winter in Israel including abundant flowers, lush green grass and on occasion, light snowfall in Jerusalem and other higher elevated Israeli grounds.
Organizing and Promoting a Customized Tour to Israel
The following provides information to help you plan and promote a trip to Israel. Common elements essential to planning and promoting trips developed by various institutions - synagogues and organizations - are discussed in detail. When you start planning, feel free to download the step-by-step checklist form.
Establish the Leader, Set Goals and Enlist Support
A.The Leader. One of the first essential steps is to identify the person and team in your institution with the interpersonal skills and enthusiasm to drive the overall process of organizing a trip to Israel. No experience is necessary to qualify, only the will to succeed and the drive to accomplish.
1. Synagogue Trips - The leader of a congregation trip is often the rabbi. If not, the selected leader should always coordinate the trip planning process with the rabbi and synagogue leadership.
2. Community and Organizational Trips - Since planning and promoting a community trip involves cutting across organizational lines and synagogue affiliation, a small Israel trip committee should be established, consisting of key community members who are associated or have excellent relationships with leaders throughout the community. The greatest challenge in planning and promoting regional or national organizational trips lies in effectively reaching a geographically dispersed constituency. Therefore, it is essential that the trip committee consist of local, personable, well-connected individuals who maintain strong ties to the central office that is sponsoring the trip.
B. The Goal. The leader or trip committee, together with other key support people, should define a concrete goal for the trip being planned. For example: "Our organization will send a group of at least 45 people on a mission to Israel this October."
C. Enlist Support. To attain your goal and make your efforts more effective, enlist the active support of recent "returnees" from Israel, as well as other motivated people.
1. Create a Tourism Committee. It is essential to organize a tourism committee or a promotion team. Include as many recent visitors to Israel in this group as possible, as their experience and enthusiasm are invaluable assets. Make sure your team includes a variety of people with excellent interpersonal and communication skills and key relationships within the community.
2. Assign a Point Person. It is essential that there be a primary contact person available for fielding questions and providing information about the trip. This may be the trip leader or a member of the trip committee or promotion team. The point person can be responsible for:
- Responding to trip inquires received by phone, e-mail or sign-up forms;
- Ensuring that material is sent to people expressing even a slight interest;
- Creating and maintaining a list of all people who have expressed interest in the trip and organizing that database by "trip status" (for example, Going, Considering, Not Going). It's important to save this database for future trips - perhaps those who have decided not to travel now will do so in the future. Additionally, you'll want to enlist the support of those who did travel for promoting future trips.
Establish the Leader, Set Goals and Enlist Support
The type of trip you choose to implement should help determine the best time to travel, as well as the number of people joining the group. This is why selecting the trip type is a key step in the overall process of accomplishing a travel trip to Israel.
You can customize hundreds of different types of trips by targeting one or more demographics, focusing on a particular theme, or merging demographic with specific issues. Additionally different types of institutions can work together for a common trip.
Use the following table which illustrates the various factors that may influence your trip type. The table can help you determine the components that are right for your community or organization. Which then along with us you can draft the perfect itinerary for your group trip.
Trip Type = Institution(s) + Demographic Target(s) + Trip Focus
Trip Focus (or Theme)
Age: Bat/bar mitzvah, teens, students, young adults, seniors
Family Status: Singles, couples, family, mixed
Gender: Men, women
Israel Experience: First-timers, repeat visitors, former Israelis, potential immigrants
Membership status: Members, new members, non-members, outreach
Involvement Status: Major givers, young leadership, lay, project, potential leaders
Geographic Location: Local community members, joint venture with other communities or organizations, regional or national trip
Profession: Doctor, lawyer, professionals, business executives, hi-tech, biotech, investors, real estate, brokers
Jewish: General Jewish, Jewish Heritage, pilgrimage holidays (Passover, Shavuot or Succot), Judaism through the ages, future of Judaism, Zionism
History: Ancient and/or modern history, general classic, politics and peace, in the footsteps of Israel's heroes
Israeli Society and Culture: Business, medicine, technology, architecture, high culture, haute cuisine, aliyah and absorption, explorations of Sephardi or Ashkenazi culture
Wellness and Action: Spa, sports, adventure, off road, ski, scuba/snorkel, fun and sun, biking
Nature and Ecology: Hiking/trekking, bird-watching, desert ecology, water issues, wildflower spotting, etc.
Let us serve you. Consider Pricing Options and Create Promotional Schedule
A.Your tour operator. As your tour operator we’ll provide exceptional tourism services in Israel, as well as other destinations you may wish to visit during your trip including Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, and Greece. Our staff in the USA, as well as our destinations will work and strive to meet your expectations- running your tour from start to finish. We encourage you to compare prices and get quotes, to confirm we offer excellent pricing when comparing apples-to-apples.
B.Trip Pricing Considerations.
As we prepare a trip quote, keep in mind the following elements that can be built into your trip pricing:
1.Free Trips for Group Leader/Organizer. We can provide a free trip (land only) for 15 paid passengers. You may also decide to receive additional number of free (or discounted) trips to be built into the overall cost, which are effective marketing incentives offering it as a “giveaway.” However, since these costs are distributed among all the paying passengers, consideration must be taken to maintain a competitive trip pricing.
2.Fundraising Through Trip Costs. A trip to Israel is commonly used as a way to raise funds and donations for the synagogue, community or organizational projects. By letting us know your needs, these costs can be built into the pricing of your trip. Again always giving great consideration to maintain a competitive trip pricing.
3. Invest in the Future. In order to attract a great number of trip participants, some organizations will subsidize the cost of a trip to Israel. Since the trip often leads to greater personal involvement and financial commitment upon return, organizations can recoup the investment over time.
C.Create a Planning Timeline and Schedule.
Once you have the people and information in place from completing the previous steps, create a schedule that details when and how to best execute your promotional efforts. Work with us to set key milestones and deadlines- as an example, a deadline for receiving deposits. After setting these important dates, plan accordingly to ensure you have enough time for planning and promoting your trip.
Get the word out! Prepare Marketing Material and promote your tour to Israel
There’s nothing more powerful then the recruitment of members by other members, a social-network of common interest. To accomplish this, the first essential step is to identify individuals or a team in your community, organization, synagogue, temple and or congregation that can drive the overall process. No special skills are required, however interpersonal skills and enthusiasm are a must. Often, the rabbi or community, organization leader will select people from their staff to help mobilize and coordinate the travel event. At this stage and in order to effectively promote your trip to Israel, you'll need effective marketing materials and tools. For this you can order free promotional materials from the Israel Ministry of Tourism, and for best results it is important to create your own materials for your own specific needs.
Set goals and enlist support
Once you have set a team in place, set and establish goals for your travel trip date, as an example, “Our temple will send a group of 20 members in our fall trip.” To set realistic goals perhaps speak to other tour leader or organizers from your congragation or other organization with experience in organizing travel tour groups to Israel. Now that you have goals, enlist as much help and support from a enthusiastic member in your congragation, temple, organization who is motivated about the tour in Israel. This support can be crucial in getting the word out about your trip.
Promote and be creative
In order to promote your travel tour trip to Israel, you will need effective marketing materials. We can provide to you an excellent Christian Leader tool kit, complete with sample letters, promotional flyers, power point presentations, videos, banners, which can all be used for your own ministry.
Order Free Marketing Materials
The Israel Ministry of Tourism provides free promotional materials for those planning a trip to Israel. For more details visit www.goisrael.com or call 1-888-77-ISRAEL. You can also visit this website from the Israel Ministry Office to download free photos, brochures, videos, and documents that will help you promote your trip. We're here to help! contact us to order Tour Planning and Promotion Guide brochure, and for other marketing materials and ideas.
Be creative, here are just some ways you can get the word out!
01Create adds in your weekly congregation bulletin with a clear call to action, “Travel with us to the promise land, contact John in our temple office."
02Post colorful posters and flyers in your congregation, organization, Shabbat program, and Jewish schools, again with clear call to action.
03Man a information table after services along with flyers, posters, and other marketing material.
04Use your email database to blast out emails about your upcoming travel tour group event. Encourage all to join your email lists.
05Attract members by letting your community know who has signed up for the trip.
06Organize and hold small group meetings for a select number of potential participants. Ask members to host the event in their homes. Provide presentations about the trip with materials.
07To build excitement, invite an outside speaker to address congregants about Israel and the upcoming trip. We and the Israel Ministry of Tourism office can help with a guest.
08As a marketing tool give a way a free trip on a sweepstakes. As mentioned you can build a free or discounted trip built into the overall cost.
09If you have a website, create a page dedicated to promoting the trip date, and encourage all to “Like” it and share it on social media.
10Get social! use all social media at your hands. Yes everyone now has facebook, create a facebook page for your trip event, tweet and pin your trip event.
Be consistent, and turn interested members into committed travelers
Set a schedule of announcements about your trip tour date, besides from spreading the word, it is crucial to obtain names and contacts of individuals whom show even a slight interest in going. This list is a great tool to make future trips much easier.
A.Talk About it and Reach Out. Raise awareness and generate interest about your trip to Israel.
1.From the Pulpit. It is crucial for the rabbi to emphasize in weekly sermons the importance of going to Israel, and the many reasons to support the trip. The sermon is the best opportunity to demonstrate how Israel is key to the congregant’s Jewish identity and personal spiritual life. It is also a great time to announce the names of the people who will be traveling on the trip, and direct congregants to the temples trip promotion table.
2.In Friendly Conversations. While conversing with congregants, constituents, friends, family and acquaintances, let them know about the trip to Israel, why you are joining and why it is important for them to join the trip.
3.To community and movement Leadership. Make sure leaders throughout the community know of your trip – specially if it is open to individuals not affiliated with your synagogue or organization. Synagogue trip organizers should certainly inform their national leadership and synagogue’s president, who can often provide assistance in trip planning, logistics, recruitment or implementation.
Create an easy way to sign up for your trip or call to action, gather sign up sheets with contact information including names, address, phone numbers, and e-mails. Provide an email address where all enquiries can be made, and with a follow up response provided immediately. Provide a reservation and call to action to us your partner, for example, “Sign up today, call Israel Tourism Consultants at 1-800-933-4421 or e-mail them and ask to join the Sinai Temple and Rabbi David on October.” We’ll take care of all the reservation details, with one simple phone call or e-mail from your member.
Ask for commitment, retain participants
We can work with you with setting up a group deposit amount and deadline, and we can execute this request when setting up a call to action into our call center. You can also collect this amount from your individual travelers, and we can work out the details on amount and deadlines.
Retain travelers, means ensure that those people who registered follow up and actually travel. You can do this by communicating regularly, send out any new information on your trip, such as, insight about the trip new participants, provide travel trip details including itineraries, trip route, packing lists, and special customized activities if any for your group.
Enjoy and experience in the land of Israel
Walk in the Promise Land of Israel, stand before the Western Wall and pray, learn about the heritage of your people. Keep our local representative and professional guide contact information with you at all times. Take a photos, make sure someone is capturing all the highlights, post pictures on a blog, and encourage members to post pictures in facebook and other social medias, create your own video, use a camcorder to capture memories from your trip and promotional material for future trips. Interview participants along the way asking them to comment on their experience.
Most important take time to reflect and pray, to provide a spiritual trip experience.
Upon your return talk about your trip to Israel
After your return from Israel, you will be poised to organize regular trips, and you can make it a integral part of your congragation, temple, community and organizations. Build on your successful trips, by creating enthusiasm and excitement talking about your Israel trip experience. Take time to thank your participants by writing letters to participating members, and the group team leaders. Write about your journey in your bulletins, newsletters, email broadcast and websites. Encourage your participants to share and "Like" their experiences, photos, and video on facebook and other social media. Set up a post trip meeting, to share the highlights of your trip.
Most important set a date for a new trip to Israel, to again warm the hearts of all Israelis, providing tangible support to the State of Israel and its citizens, and offer your community the opportunity for the vacation of a lifetime in the Jewish homeland.
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