While Turkey may have seriously downgraded the level of its relationship with Israel over the past year – even expelling the Israeli ambassador from Ankara – the Muslim country is nevertheless planning to participate in a tourism fair next month in Tel Aviv, hoping to persuade travelers from the Jewish state to visit Turkey, rather than the popular destinations of Greece and Cyprus.
Over 800 representatives from twenty-eight countries are expected to attend the fair, where they will show off their homeland’s most attractive travel destinations and vacation offers. The annual international tourism fair is sponsored by Israel’s Tourism Ministry, the Israel Hotel Association and El Al Airlines.
“This is one of the main regional tourism fairs,” said Israeli Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov.
“The number and quality of the participants can be seen as an expression of trust in Israeli tourism.”
“I am glad that – in spite of the diplomatic tensions – Turkey is still interested in taking part in the tourism conference,” says Eyal Shmueli, the publisher and editor-in-chief of Israel Travel News, who is one of the fair’s initiators.
“The Turkish participation proves that they are interested in bringing the Israeli tourist back,” he adds.
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