At the heart of the Hula Valley, home to millions of migrating birds and hundreds of thousands of tourists every year, a brand new, eco-friendly and hi-tech visitor center was launched on November 6.
After 10 years of planning and construction, the visitor center is now active, offering guests various attractions - including state-of-the-art VR stations simulating a flight from the eyes of a migrating bird, a 194 sq. ft. digital, gesture-controlled wall that projects a live feed of surrounding migrating birds, a 3D digital model of the Hula Valley, dynamically updated with terrain data, a 220 seatsauditorium fitted with a 4K projector that will remain open to the public, and more.
The official opening ceremony was held in the presence of Mr. Daniel Atar, KKL-JNF World Chairman and the Rt. Hon. Stephen J. Harper, 22nd Prime Minister of Canada, both of whom greeted the guests, along with dignitaries and KKL-JNF representatives from around the world.
Daniel Atar, KKL-JNF World Chairman: “Lake Hula is a prime destination not only for migrating birds, but for tourists everywhere. This new beautiful center is going to bring in many more visitors, and lift up the entire economy for the whole area of the Northern Galilee.”
Rt. Hon. Stephen J. Harper: “This park is one of the greatest restoration stories, just like this country is to the Jewish people. It is a magnificent honor to have this center named after my name, and I am grateful for this beautiful occasion.”
The evening before the opening of the visitors' centre, Stephen Harper was feted at a celebratory gala dinner hosted by the KKL-JNF at which Prime Minister Netanyahau was a special guest.
Netanyahu said to Harper: "Stephen, you have stood up for our values time and again. You’re still doing that today. And we welcome you once again to Jerusalem. Welcome, friend."
KKL-JNF World Chairman Daniel Atar and Israeli state-officials, along with donors, ambassadors and dignitaries from KKL-JNF branches around the world were also in attendance at the dinner.