FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Haim Gutin, Commissioner, North and South America, Israel Ministry of Tourism

Feb 28, 2014
2014 / March 2014

Name: Haim Gutin
Title: Commissioner, North and South America
Company, city: Israel Ministry of Tourism; New York, N.Y.
Number of employees: 60 in the United States
Recent project: Every day, we have at least 10 projects in the works. Recent projects include a media campaign to the Christian market; online training for travel agents; and organizing media visits, conferences, seminars and trade shows.
First job: As a student, I was a security guard and paramedic.
Little-known fact about you: I’ve practiced martial arts, and I love to play soccer.

Your Business

Essential business philosophy: As a government agency, it is essential to reach between the bureaucracy and the private sector. My personal philosophy is to give people the freedom to work and know their job; judge only by the final results, not by the way they got there. You can learn something from everything.

Best way to keep a competitive edge: Don’t cut corners. Understand the task at hand. Prepare beforehand and never underestimate projects or people. Know your own weaknesses. Be strong in your beliefs and don’t change strategies willy-nilly.

Yardstick of success: Always find something good in what you do; stay optimistic and measure success when you see positivity. If all the people I work with are happy, I am successful.

Haim Gutin as a Traveler

What is the most important item you take when traveling? A good book, good music and an iPad

How do you spend your time on board? I love to read and listen to music. It’s a time of reflection, both on past projects and future endeavors. If traveling with colleagues, I like to talk with them and get to know them better.

What is your favorite restaurant in the world? Café Pushkin, Moscow; it reminds me of my mother’s food.

What is your favorite destination in the world? For leisure, the Bahamas or Bermuda. For history and culture, Europe, Asia and South America.

About Israel Ministry of Tourism

What can luxury travelers expect from a trip to Israel? Israel is a destination for those seeking more than shopping, more than just pleasure. It’s the chance to experience everything from a different angle. Unique to Israel is the ability to fulfill a traveler’s spiritual energy; no matter your religion, you feel the buzz in the atmosphere. As they say, you go to Jerusalem to pray — Jerusalem is history — and Tel Aviv to play. All around the country, we truly have something for everyone; pictures come alive in Israel. And for the luxury traveler, aside from the overall added value of the destination, more and more luxury hotel brands are coming to Israel, including the newly opened Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem and a Kempinski in Tel Aviv.

What initiatives are in place in Israel to attract business travel? The number of flourishing industries in Israel — high-tech, agriculture, medicine, security — are a huge attraction to business travelers. People come to learn from Israel. While it is not a business travel destination per se, the opportunity is there. The country also has a good transportation infrastructure, excellent signage and everything is in English, making it an easy destination in which to conduct business. In Israel, different cultures live together peacefully and respect each other, which is hospitable for any type of visitor.

What is the most challenging aspect of attracting North American travelers to Israel? We are slowly changing North Americans’ perceptions of Israel; it is an extremely safe place to visit, and other ideas of the area are misconceptions. It is a secure, normal travel destination. We have the lowest crime rate in the world. We have the potential to reach 1 million tourists in 2014, and 38 percent of those visitors are repeat travelers. Our hope is that those visitors become ambassadors for Israel, conveying the message and inspiring others to visit.

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Dec 9, 2022

Best Places to See Pantone’s 2023 Color of the Year

Pantone recently unveiled its color of the year for 2023. The highly anticipated announcement has become a tradition, each year introducing a new color to represent the coming year. In 2021, Pantone declared 2022 to be the color of Very Peri 17-3938, a blend of purple and blue. For 2023, Pantone’s Color of the Year is Viva magenta 18-1750. A shade from the red family, this color represents a new signal of strength. Brave and fearless, Viva Magenta is rooted in nature and embraces joy and celebration.

Alaskan Wild Wonders by Celebrity Cruises

Experience the beauty of Alaska and save 60 percent off cruise fares on your second and fourth guests. Plus, drinks, WiFi and tips are all included.

December 2022
Dec 9, 2022

Hidden Gem: Discover Istanbul’s Vibrant Balat Neighborhood

The UNESCO World Heritage neighborhood of Balat rivals İstanbul’s Old City for its historic significance, with an added splash of color. Its cobbled hilly streets boast a full rainbow of houses, cafés, restaurants and churches painted in pinks, reds, oranges, yellows, greens and blues — parts even surpassing my native San Francisco’s steep, colorful corridors. The most vibrant stretch of homes, dating anywhere from 50 to 200 years old, runs along Kiremit Caddesi.

Daily
Dec 9, 2022

Icelandair Welcomes New North American Gateway: Detroit

Icelandair recently announced its newest North American gateway: Detroit, Michigan. The seasonal flights begin May 18, 2023, taking off from Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport to Reykjavik (KEF), Iceland. The four weekly, non-stop flights will run through Oct. 30, 2023. Flight 872 departs Detroit for Iceland Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, at 8:30 p.m., on a 160-seat Boeing 737MAX. The return, from Reykjavik to Detroit, departs 5 p.m. on the same days of the week, arriving at 6:25 p.m.

Hit the High Notes in Nashville

Nashville’s once-modest skyline continues to evolve as its luxury market grows. Lavish hotel properties are added to the landscape while acclaimed chefs stake claim in the robust culinary scene and premier cultural offerings round out the city’s repertoire.

Daily
Dec 9, 2022

Winter Walking Trips with The Wilderness Group

If your personal travel nirvana involves fabulous scenery and a snappy, reviving hike in bracing winter air, Bannikin Travel & Tourism hopes to make your dreams come true with a selection of new winter walking itineraries in Scotland (other trip options are available in England and Ireland). Here’s what you can look forward to in 2023:

Daily
Dec 7, 2022

Holiday Happenings at Historic Hotel Boulderado, Colorado

A giant, sparkling white fir tree and decadent holiday brunch in a historic Rocky Mountain setting? Please and thank you! It’s all happening at historic Hotel Boulderado in Boulder, Colorado. Guests will be greeted by sparkle and light as they enter — the hotel’s enormous lobby tree is a local tradition, chosen each year through a partnership with Native Nursery in the nearby town of Golden.

Luxurious Adventures Await.

Discover why Global Traveler readers named Cunard® the Best Large-Ship Cruise Line for seven consecutive years. For a limited time, book your voyage during Cunard’s Explore with More promotion and take advantage of lower fares*, up to $1,200 Onboard Credit†, Free Specialty Dining for Two^, 50% Reduced Deposit††, and more. Choose from an array of exciting journeys, including Transatlantic Crossings and voyages to Alaska, the Caribbean and Canada & New England.

Daily
Dec 7, 2022

Tel Aviv: The Perfect Winter Destination

Travelers constantly look for their next bucket-list vacation, but with Europe getting colder, why not travel to a destination that is sunny year-round? Tel Aviv is the perfect getaway to escape the  cold winter months. Whether traveling solo, with friends or family members, here are some must-do activities in Tel Aviv.