Tourists from Japan enjoying Israel visits

"They will all become ambassadors for Israel," Mori said.

The company, which produces cosmetics and health products, has a link to Israel based on the fact that a subsidiary in Eilat produces a seaweed used in the production of Dunaliella, an anti-oxidant rich in beta-carotene.

The entire group not only visited Eilat, but also Hadassah University Hospitals in Jerusalem, where research is being carried out relating to the product, he said.

Mori said he intends to bring additional groups, and added that among the highlights for the group was planting trees in a Jewish National Fund forest. He also praised El Al, which provided direct flights from Osaka lasting 12 hours, instead of the 20 hours needed to fly through Europe. On the flight, he said, the passengers watched the films "Ben Hur" and the "Ten Commandments."

Oni Amiel, of Amiel Tours, which arranged the visit, said that the 40 buses taking the group were coordinated on a minute-by-minute basis. The success of the tour, he said, shows that any incentive tour can be carried out successfully at this time.

Amiel said that most groups at the moment are still waiting to see the outcome of the present situation, rather than cancelling outright. He said that if the violence ends within a relatively short time, there is still hope for the tourism industry.