At the International Mediterranean Tourism Market (IMTM) conference at the Tel Aviv Convention Center today, Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin met with his Turkish counterpart, Nabi Avci, following years of estrangement between their two respective governments. Avci's visit is the first by a Turkish government minister since relations between Israel and Turkey were normalized.
"This is an important and non-random visit by the Minister of Tourism, because tourism is an excellent way of meeting people and strengthening the connection between them. Through tourism, the connection between the countries can be improved and made more fruitful," Avci said. Levin added, "The bilateral relations between Israel and Turkey are an essential element in regional stability and economic progress. The visit by my Turkish colleague will lead to a series of measures for strengthening the strategic ties between Israel and Turkey, which are of enormous importance geopolitically, and also in tourism."
Levin emphasized, "We are witnessing a new era of tourism to Israel. The increase in budgets and resources spent in the sector are increasing the number of tourists coming to Israel. We are also using the Turkish model in order to achieve these results."
Turkey, which has been hit hard by terrorist attacks, has paid a high price in the form of a drop in the number of visitors to the country. At the same time, Israeli passengers are making extensive use of Turkish airline companies - mainly for connection flights. Turkish beach vacation destinations, which formerly occupied a prominent place on the map of Israeli destinations, are once again drawing attention. Estimates are that in the absence of a dramatic event driving tourists away, the number of visitors to Turkey in vacation seasons will increase again this year.
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on February 7, 2017
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