(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Lieberman launched the MFA’s new Tourist Information application today (Wednesday, June 13 2012) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem. The application was developed over the past year by the Bureau of Consular Affairs and the Department for Israelis Abroad, in collaboration with the Bureau for Information Technology and Communication Services. The application, which is in Hebrew, is available for free download on the Apple App Store under the title Tourist Information (מידע למטייל). An Android version will soon be available as well.
FM Lieberman stated that the move is an additional contribution to the strengthening of the relationship and service the MFA provides the public. “I commend the excellent work and cooperation of the Consular Department and the Bureau for Information Technology and Communication Services who developed an application that enables Israeli tourists around the world to utilize the services provided by our diplomatic missions in the countries they visit, and to view all pertinent information regarding the country. This application is not static; it will continue to develop, and this is an additional layer added to other MFA initiatives designed to improve service to the public.”
With this application, the MFA is able to provide Israeli citizens with an additional means of receiving information on various countries, travel recommendations, contact information of Israeli diplomatic missions around the world and recommended behavior in routine and stressful situations. The information provided is both essential and useful for Israeli citizens abroad, whether they are backpackers, tourists or businessmen interested in basic information about their destination.
The Head of the Consular Affairs Bureau, Yigal Tzarfati, stated that the aim of the Bureau is to improve services to the public by any means possible, and this application represents an additional, important method of doing so.
During the event, FM Lieberman referred to the State Comptroller’s Report regarding the Marmara Flotilla, and stated that after reading the report carefully, the conclusion is that from the publicity standpoint, the entire affair should be dealt with by the MFA so that it will be able to manage similar future events in the international media successfully. Only the MFA, with its accumulated skills and deployment, is able to provide a real-time response and to deal with misrepresentations attempted by hostile entities in the international media. A situation similar to that during the Flotilla, where several entities such as the National Information Directorate, the IDF Spokesperson, the Ministry of Public Diplomacy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs all attempted to manage the situation simultaneously, will merely create confusion and problems.