ISRAEL - Another First Place Win for the Nation

Arno Froese

Refundit, an Israeli startup which revolutionizes the field of tax-free shopping for tourists, has won the first place prize in the World Tourism Organization travel-tech competition.

The global travel-tech competition, held for the first time, by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in partnership with Globalia, the leading tourism group in Spain and Latin America, sought innovative startups capable of transforming the way people travel and experience tourism, while adhering closely to the principles of sustainability (economic, social, and environmental).

A total of 2,771 companies from 132 countries submitted their candidacy for the competition, while out of the ten finalists, four of them were Israeli, but there can only be one winner.

Refundit, founded by Uri Levine, Waze co-founder and serial entrepreneur, and Ziv Tirosh, co-founder of Stockton, is an Israeli startup which revolutionizes the field of tax-free shopping, making the process easier and efficient—with no lines or paperwork, saving tourists time and money.

“We are excited by the recognition we received from the World Tourism Organization to the contribution of Refundit to global tourism economy and tourists’ experience,” Ziv Tirosh, Founding Partner and CEO of Refundit commented.

The UNTWO’s competition promised the winner will have the opportunity to carry out a pilot project with the Globalia Group and the finalists will have access to the leading actors in the world tourism sector., 24 January 2019

Arno's commentary

Tourists to Israel, of whom many spend significant amounts, must stand in line at the airport to receive a refund of the VAT tax they paid on articles purchased. Tax refunds are quite common in many countries for tourists purchasing expensive items.

In the meantime, Israel celebrated 4 million tourist arrivals during 2018. Yet, when compared with the world, it’s only a drop in the ocean. The world champion tourism destination is France, with almost 85 million tourists in one year. But Israel is different. Although threatened on every side, Israel has a near perfect report card when it comes to security. That fact apparently is a great contributor towards Israel’s inventiveness when it comes to global high-tech travel competitions.

Here we are reminded of Daniel 1:17: “As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.”

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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