The term “all-inclusive” was popularized by Club Med a generation ago to describe an innovative approach to vacation packaging. For a single fee, guests could enjoy all of the benefits that the facility had to offer. Since then, it has become a generic term, commonly used by Israelis to describe a vacation in one of the many hotels built along the country’s Mediterranean coast. In contemporary Hebrew, “all-inclusive” has come to mean an inexpensive but enjoyable holiday at a Turkish hotel with an all-you-can-eat buffet open round the clock, and — even better — free drinks at the bar, too.
When Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioglu served as his country’s ambassador to Israel in the early 2000s, his goal was to increase the number of Israeli tourists to his country from 200,000 a year to half a million. In the summer of 2008, just a few months before the Davos incident in which then-Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan assailed Israeli President Shimon Peres, the number of Israeli tourists visiting Turkey had already surpassed the target at almost 600,000 that year.