Eurovision participants. (Kobi Richter/TPS)

Israel is preparing for the arrival of thousands of guests to attend the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest.

By: TPS and United with Israel Staff

The Tel Aviv municipality has stepped up its preparations for the expected 10,000 tourists from around the world who will converge on the city in May for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest.

On Thursday night, the first batch of 2,000 Eurovision 2019 tickets went on sale, selling out in a mere 10 minutes, Times of Israel reported.

Tens of thousands of additional fans are reportedly still hoping to score tickets for the event.

Aiming to create the perfect experience for tourists, city hall has issued a call for volunteers to assist tourists and journalists during their stay in Tel Aviv. The call was issued earlier this week and over 1,500 potential volunteers have already sent in their applications.

Volunteers who wish to take part in this event must be over the age of 17 and have a conversational level of English. The team of volunteers will provide guidance, information and a friendly welcome to tourists and “will represent the best that Tel Aviv has to offer,” the city said.

Tel Aviv-Yafo’s Mayor Ron Huldai stated that “the Eurovision Song Contest is an unprecedented and unique opportunity to show the beauty of Israel to the world. All the polls we do show that one of our greatest assets is that we are friendly, warm and welcoming and these are the assets we want to leverage in service of the thousands of tourists who will enjoy the best possible Eurovision experience.”

In 2016, 1.14 million tourists from around the world visited Tel Aviv. In 2018, that number rose to 1.85 million and in 2019 the number of international tourists is expected to cross the two million mark and reach an overall new record.

Eurovision 2019 will take place in Israel following the country’s victory with Netta Barzilay’s hit song “Toy” in Lisbon last year. The victorious country gets to host the following year’s competition.

The last time Israel hosted the competition was in Jerusalem in 1999.

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Source: United with Israel