Turkey Tourism 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
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.
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
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
“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
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
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%).