Eilat, #7 in Trip Advisors rising tourist destinations and home to the best hotel in the Middle East, is now host to Ben Gurion University’s hands on academic programs in hospitality and culinary arts.
What do colonial San Jose del Cabo, Mexico; Whistler, the winter wonderland of Western Canada; tropical Kihei, Hawaii; and “charming” Eilat, Israel, have in common? They are all on TripAdvisor’s 2016 Travelers’ Choice Awards “Top Destinations on the Rise — World”. What is unique about Eilat? It is the only location on the list to offer world-class academic internship programs in hospitality and the culinary arts, offered by Ben Gurion University’s Department for Hospitality and Tourism (ranked sixth in the world in tourism research) right in the heart of Eilat’s tourist activity.
Eilat, Exploding onto the International Tourist Scene
- 48 hotels offering 12000 rooms including Herod’s Vitalis Spa Hotel, ranked no.1 in the Middle East and 25th worldwide for 2016 by TripAdvisor in its annual Travelers’ Choice awards
- A huge selection of 5 star deluxe, 5 star and 4 star hotels.
- Closely accessible by 2 small international airports, 1 hour flight from Tel Aviv, new world-class international airport set to open in 2017.
- Eilat hotel dining considered amongst best in the country, giving a first-hand taste of Israel's famed cooking, among the world's fastest-growing ethnic cuisines in 2016.
- A rich, diverse and colorful marine life, providing for what is perhaps the best snorkeling and scuba diving anywhere.
- Scores of attractions, such as a highly rated underwater observatory, a “dolphin reef” where you can swim with these aquatic marvels of nature, and desert excursions in Eilat’s red mountains.
- Sunshine all year round and plentiful beaches.
This is only a partial list, but more and more tourists around the globe are learning of this coastal desert gem, which Israeli’s have kept to themselves for far too long. Consequently, the hospitality market in Eilat is booming, leading TripAdvisor and others to highlight Israel’s southernmost city as a rising star. For you, readers of this article, the implications should be obvious – Eilat is growing into a true tourism industry powerhouse, with unmatched hospitality and culinary venues, offering the perfect setting to be a student of and to gain real-world experience in these disciplines.
The Right Place and Right Institution for Hospitality and Culinary Studies
Enter Ben Gurion University (BGU) in Israel, a top 250 institution worldwide and ranked sixth in the world in tourism research. In 2008 BGU opened its Eilat campus and soon after, the University’s Department for Hospitality and Tourism launched its hospitality and culinary arts programs at the campus. Now, BGU, in concert with Study in Israel, is opening the doors of its intimate, southernmost campus to students from all nations, by offering the programs for the first time in English.
The programs, referred to as Academic Internship Programs (AIPs), offer students a complete immersion experience in the local hospitality industry by combining class-room studies delivered by renowned faculty and professionals, with practical experience in premier 4 and 5 start hotels in the fast-growing tourist destination of Eilat. In addition, students will have the opportunity to partake in weekly lectures delivered by key hospitality personnel and in supplementary bi-monthly workshops on topics, such as wine, meat and spices, and customer service and will be taken on a seven-day tour of Israel as well.
More specifically, two 5-6 month AIPs are being offered:
- A 14-credit academic program in Hospitality and Tourism: The academic trajectory includes the option to study modules on entrepreneurship, tourism marketing, and hotel management operations.
- A certification in Israeli, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean Cuisine: A comprehensive grounding in all aspects of the local cuisine in addition to providing focus sessions on popular specialties such as vegan and Arab cooking.
Straight from the Source
To cap things off, we thought it appropriate to bring here TripAdvisor’s description of Eilat provided in its top rising destinations rankings:
“Charming Eilat is one of Israel’s most popular resort cities. Nestled at the Northern tip of the Red Sea, Eilat’s warm, clear waters are a huge draw for divers, while the reefs of Coral Beach Nature Reserve are perfect for snorkelers. Above sea level, the ancient copper mines of Timna National Park are begging to be explored, as are the shops, bars and restaurants of the seaside promenade.”
(TripAdvisor, Top Destinations on the Rise — World, 2016 Travelers’ Choice Awards: https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/TravelersChoice-DestinationsontheRise-cTop10-g1)