With Fewer Israeli Visitors, Turkey Shuns Tel Aviv Tourism Fair

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Turkey used to be one of Israel’s top tourist destinations. But following the 2010 Gaza flotilla raid, Israelis have turned elsewhere, reports Gidi Lipkin. As a result, Turkey has cancelled its participation in the annual Israeli international tourism fair for the first time since 1994.

For the first time since its inception in 1994, Turkey will not participate in the International Mediterranean Tourism Market in Israel. The fair will be held on Feb. 5–6, 2013 in the Tel Aviv Exhibition Grounds. To date, 19 countries have committed to participating in the fair.

Turkey decided to withdraw its participation as a result of the tense relations between the two countries. The Turks threatened to cancel their participation last year, but came at the last minute.

As representatives from the Turkish Tourism Office explained, “Every year, we invest a lot of money in our participation in the fair. If Israelis are boycotting Turkey, there is no point from our perspective in investing money that won’t bring any benefit. The fair won’t cause Israelis to come back to Turkey.”

A few days ago, an unknown perpetrator broke the windows of the Turkish Tourism Office in Tel Aviv. Yesterday [Oct. 30], representatives from the office handed the security tape over the police to help them identify the perpetrator. 

Found in: turkey, tourism fair, tourism, participation, marmara, israel, gaza flotilla, gaza, boycott
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