Tel Aviv holds almost 50 per cent of Israeli’s population, making it Israel’s financial capital as well. It is also the first city on a tourist’s Israeli holiday because the city never sleeps with its 24-hour gastro holes, late-night shows, underground gigs and other such eccentric events. Of course, the beach, its main attraction is accessible, uninterrupted. This explains why New York Times has labelled it the “Mediterranean Capital of Cool”. 

The Israel Embassy in India states: “Nowadays, Tel Aviv is investing in becoming a Smart Tourism City, combining its specialities in the field of tourism and technology.” The tourism industry alone earns the country US$11 billion a year and received 40,000 Indian tourists last year. It hopes to double this number to 80,000-1,00,000 by 2018. 

In the last week of March, Israel and China entered into a 10-year multiple visa deal, and the Mediterranean country hopes to establish a similar deal with India in time. As of today, no Indian carriers fly to Tel Aviv, but the country’s Tourism Ministry hopes to establish a contract with Indian airlines as the first step towards boosting Indian tourism to Israel through Tel Aviv. 

Recognising the scope of tourism in Israel, locals have cashed in on the industry by developing apps to support smart travel. These range from exchanging your air ticket for a cheaper deal to dining at a local’s home to drafting an itinerary to match business and leisure interests. 


Enter your destination and tell Sidekix what you’re interested in. For example, if you would like to go from the oldest part of Tel Aviv, Jaffa (old city) to the city’s southernmost beach Homat HaYam, and feel like sipping on a hot cappuccino, key it into the app and Sidekix will map out the fastest path that has a coffee shop en route. 

It works the other way round too. If you’re walking to someplace and spot an interesting shop, restaurant, cinema or pub, share it with the Sidekix community. This two-way sharing helps the “database” grow, offering more to its community. 

It not only works as a GPS, but by sharing with friends and family, it helps track their location and find them in a crowded area. 


Browse through menus uploaded by welcoming hosts. These can be home chefs, entrepreneurs, or even experimental chefs. They will put up a date  they’re open to host taste buds of similar interests and the price per person. Book yourself a seat at their table. 

The idea is to open homes of locals to visiting tourists. And it’s already a growing rage in Aviel, Haifa, Jerusalem, Metula, Modi’in-Maccabim-Re’ut, Ramat Hasharon and Tel Aviv. If you have the opportunity to dine at these homes, look for menus that list jachnun (breakfast pastry), labane (tangy yogurt), shakshooka (poached eggs spiced with tomatoes, chili peppers, onions and cumin), malawach (thick, fried, flaky pancake) and zefatit (salted, sheep milk cheese). 


This is another app for the foodie and works on simple search filters. Enter your budget, dish and location and a list of suggestions will pop up. You can also compare places as per price, rate your experience and add to existing or read through user recommendations. 


The best way to see a city is with a local. There are things that will miss the attention of travel blogs even. For example: if you see a group engaged in intense discussions on the beach, it’s probably a corporate meeting going about their usual workday, this time on the beach in stead of in the office. 

So the next time you’re in Israel, get in touch with a local through LocalYoo for specialised tours such as an architecture tour through Rothschild Boulevard — the finance and cultural centre of Tel Aviv, a graffiti walk through Florentin — a contrast to the usual Tel Aviv lifestyle, a Jewish cultural experience in Jaffa — the old city, or a gastronomy sampling at local eateries at King George Street — the quaint and upmarket Tel Aviv neighbourhood. 


When in Israel for business, it may be tempting to steer away from meeting schedules and enjoy a little bit of Jewish culture. They go by the tag line: Making Business a Luxury. 

It works similar to a concierge. Select your dates, add your interests and  check those that fall within your schedule. These range from running tours to   culinary tasting tours, wine experiences to art excursions, and fashion walks to  pub crawls. 


Roomer has tied up with various hotels in Israel that makes it easy for them to connect buyers and sellers of hotel rooms with each other. 

The rooms are not sold by hotels themselves, but by the guest who wishes to give up a booking last minute to guests who are looking for rooms urgently.  It is most handy when the booking is non-refundable, but you need to leave before the pre-booked check-out date. 

Roomer takes details of both parties before contacting the hotel to make the necessary booking transfer. It also works as a payment gateway between the buyer and seller, eliminating chances of theft. 


This is the aviation version of Roomer. 

Cancelling non-refundable tickets can also mean selling them for cheap (at least you get part of your money back) on a website. If you decide to stay back in Israel, put your ticket up for sale for a cheaper price to make it attractive to buyers. Jetta will play sales coordinator between the two of you and help in transferring that ticket from seller’s to buyer’s name. 


Say you have booked a flight from Jerusalem to Haifa and feel that you have overpaid. All you need to do is forward that booking information to FairFly who will then put its computers to work on fishing out the cheapest available deal  matching: the exact same flight date, time and airline; a different time on the same airline or different airline but same mileage club; a completely new date, time, and airline. 

Once the algorithms spot a better deal than what you have, the app notifies you. It’s then up to you to allow the app to cancel and book the new deal or not.