Only 3% of Israelis plan to travel to Turkey this year

Geocartography research group survey reveals clear decline with 16% having said they would travel to Turkey in 2009, and 10% in 2010.

By RON FRIEDMAN
January 18, 2011 05:07
2 minute read.
PART OF a Turkish ad campaign launched in March to

Turkey Tourism 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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Only 3.4 percent of Israelis plan to visit Turkey in 2011, as the downward trend of travel to that country continues, a survey conducted by the Geocartography research group found.

Compared to similar surveys conducted one and two years ago, this reveals a clear decline, with 16% having said they would travel to Turkey in 2009, and 10% in 2010.

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According to the survey, which was released Monday, Europe remains the preferred destination for Israelis, with 74% of the respondents stating they planned to travel there over the next year.

The survey, released prior to the annual International Mediterranean Tourism Market (IMTM) trade show, scheduled to take place in Tel Aviv in mid-February, asked a representative sample of 500 adults about their travel plans for 2011.

According to Eyal Shmueli, editor and publisher of Israeli Travel News and one of the founders of the IMTM tourism trade show, “The crisis in the relationship between Israel and Turkey is only increasing and Israelis are continuing to boycott Turkey and look for alternative vacation destinations.

“Despite attempts to reduce the polarity between the countries, which could be witnessed by Turkey’s aid to Israel during the Carmel Forest fire, it appears that things are still far from calm. The Turks are aware of the problem and plan to attend the trade show, build the largest exhibit and utilize all available marketing tools to woo the Israeli public and stop the downward trend.”

The survey found similar drops in interest in travel to other destinations. Drops were registered in desire to travel to the Sinai (7% this year compared to 13% in 2010), the Far East (20% compared to 28% in 2010), Greece, Cyprus and the Greek Islands (23% compared to 31% in 2010 and the Americas (39%, compared to 43% in 2010). Only Europe remained solid with 74%.



Shmueli had difficulty explaining the findings, especially given the high outgoing tourism numbers in 2010, but suggested that a possible reason for the widespread drop in travel plans was that more of last year’s respondents had said they planned to travel to two destinations.

The survey also polled respondents on their plans to vacation in Israel in the upcoming year. The survey found that the highest percentage of respondents, 67.5%, said they would vacation in the North. Eilat came in second with 50%, followed by Tiberias (52%) and the Dead Sea (47%).

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