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Liu Ye: Tourism Ambassador for Israel
   2014-07-03 16:34:41    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Xu Fei

Famous Chinese actor Liu Ye (right) answers questions from journalists at a press conference in Beijing during which he highly promoted Israel as a tourist hot-spot to Chinese citizens on Monday, June 30, 2014. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com]

Anchor: Chinese film star Liu Ye is heavily promoting Israel as a tourist hot-spot to Chinese citizens after having been formally appointed as Tourism Ambassador for the Middle-Eastern country.

Xu Fei has the story.


Reporter: Newly appointed Tourism Ambassador for Israel, Liu Ye, says he first came to understand Israel and the Israelis, thanks to his French photographer wife.

"My wife is a French Jew. Since we tied the knot, my understanding about Jewish people's lifestyle and their values about family has increased and I've found there are many similarities between Israelis and Chinese people, particularly in the ways we deal with family ties as well as the way we get along with people."

Accompanied by his wife, Anais Martane, Liu Ye toured Jerusalem, the Dead Sea and the Judean Desert in February this year - his first visit to Israel. At a recent press conference, Liu recalled this experience.

"My first visit to Israel took place on the Second Day of the Lunar New Year. I visited many places around Israel during that trip. Every day, I wrote in a diary to record my route of travel. I was very impressed by the harmonious and secure local atmosphere."

For Liu Ye, the February trip was a break from work. He made three movies in 2013 and is currently working on a few projects.

Now as Israel's tourism ambassador, Liu Ye explains a skincare remedy near the Dead Sea in his first promotional attempt to attract more Chinese tourists to Israel.

"To the west of Israel is the Mediterranean sea, with the Red Sea to its south and Dead Sea to its east. The Chinese people learned from their textbooks in primary schools that people will float gently in the Dead Sea , rather than sink down into the water. Here, I want to particularly introduce that the mud near the Dead Sea is now used for skincare purposes in China's beauty parlors and such a service would usually cost a lot of money. However, that mud is everywhere along the seaside and you can put it on your skin as you wish."

With Liu Ye's promotion, Israeli Tourism Minister, Uzi Landau, has expressed ambition to see an increasing number of tourists to Israel within four years' time.

"Today, when it comes to the number of tourists, there were 26,000 tourists who came in Israel in 2013, compared to 83,000 Israeli tourists who came to China during that period of time. We are planning to quadruple the Chinese tourists in four years. That is in 2017, we are planning to have 100 thousand Chinese tourists to Israel."

In fact, Liu Ye is not the only Chinese film star who has helped promote tourism to Israel. Earlier, Chinese actress Zhang Jingchu was in Jerusalem, filming a lead role in a Chinese romantic comedy, "Old Cinderella."

Zhang said she fell in love with Israel and decided to relocate the filming of an advertising campaign for the De Beers diamond company from Paris to the Dead Sea as a result of her visit to the country.

For Studio Plus, I'm Xu Fei.
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