istanbul water view 311.
(photo credit: Elana Kirsh)
Is the Israeli tourism boycott of Turkey nearing its end? Travel company Kavei
Hufsha announced on Wednesday that it was reoffering its regular vacations
packages to Antalya, a popular seaside resort town, which until the raid on the
Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara on May 31 had been packed with Israelis.RELATED:
'90% drop in Israeli tourists to Turkey'
Turkey’s tourism industry suffering from Israelis’ rebuff
month Israel removed the travel warning against visiting Turkey that had been
issued after the flotilla raid, which killed nine Turks, generated hostility in
Turkey. But though the advisory was removed, Israelis were hesitant to travel to
Turkey, in part to demonstrate disapproval of the Turkish government’s response
to the flotilla raid.
It is estimated that the Israeli boycott cost the
Turkish tourism industry $2 billion.
Substantial losses were also
registered by Israeli tourism companies who sold the allinclusive packages that
until recently were so popular among Israelis.
Today, both the Israeli
and the Turkish tourism sectors hope that Israeli tourists are willing to
forgive and forget and resume their previous travel patterns.
we have witnessed a reawakening in Israeli demands for vacations in Antalya. The
Antalya hoteliers and merchants, for their part, have missed the Israeli
tourists and they will be welcomed back fondly,” said Arnon Englender, Kavei
In an interview with Globes, Englender said that the
renewed interest among Israelis was limited to Antalya, which he characterized
as separate from the rest of Turkey.
“I don’t know about the rest of the
country, but I was in Antalya recently and nothing’s changed. What interests
people there is tourism and the good life,” he said.
Kavei Hufsha has
committed to five flights a week to the Turkish destination and is offering
packages for three nights in a fivestar resort ranging from $420-$580 per
person, flights included.
Englender said the first flight is scheduled to
leave on Sunday, and was just 18 seats away from being fully booked.