Tourism Minister Uzi Landau and Taglit-Birthright participants presented American Jewish entrepreneur Sheldon Adelson with an award for innovation and excellence in global tourism at the 2013 Jerusalem Innovative Tourism Summit on Tuesday.
Adelson, the chairman and CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, was recognized for his extraordinary contributions to the global tourism industry. He is the head of a global tourism empire, with successful projects in Las Vegas, Macau, Singapore and Pennsylvania, among other places, that attract around a billion tourists each year.
Adelson has invested more than $30 billion in tourism projects around the world and has "changed the face of tourism on three continents," the award-givers said.
Adelson and his wife Dr. Miriam Adelson are in Israel for the summit in Jerusalem and will meet with Taglit-Birthright participants from around the world.
Last week, the Birthright Israel Foundation announced a new $40 million gift from the Adelsons that continues their commitment to fund free, 10-day educational trips for Jewish young adults between the ages of 18 and 26. The gift brings the Adelsons' total donations to the program to a historic $180 million, making them by far the world's largest private donors to Birthright Israel.
The donation from the Adelson Family Foundation will make it possible for thousands of additional young people to experience Birthright Israel in 2013. Their gift includes a new $20 million challenge grant.
Full disclosure: Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson own the company that is the primary shareholder of Israel Hayom.