J'lem-Ankara tensions hit tourism

Survey: 7% fewer Israelis planning a vacation in Turkey during 2010 compared with last year.

Jerusalem-Ankara tensions are having an adverseeffect on Turkish tourism, with seven percent fewer Israelis planning avacation there during 2010 compared with last year.

According to the findings of a survey held priorto IMTM 2010 - Israel's international tourism fair, to be held February9/10 at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds - among Israelis planning to holidayabroad during 2010, only 9% said they would do so in Turkey, comparedwith 16% who said they were planning a vacation there in 2009.

The survey was held two weeks ago by the GeoCartographia MarketResearch Institute among 500 men and women representing the adultJewish population in Israel.

Eyal Shimoni, publisher and editor-in-chief of Israel TravelNews and one of the initiators of IMTM, said diplomatic tensionsbetween Israel and Turkey were definitely a factor Israelis consideredwhen choosing their holiday destinations.

"The crisis in relations between Turkey and Israelis having an effect, and leading Israeli tourists to seek out otherplaces for their vacation," he said. "The Turks are aware of theproblem, and are planning to attend the tourism fair this year in orderto make every effort to block this downward trend, and tempt theIsraeli tourist back to their country, using a number of creativemarketing devices."

The survey also shows that there has been a 12% increase in thenumber of Israelis planning to vacation in 2010 in the Far East (28%this year compared with 16% last year), and in Greece, Cyprus and theislands (31% this year compared with 19% last year).

It also shows a 10% increase among Israelisplanning to vacation in Europe (74% this year compared with 64% lastyear), an increase of 8% in Israelis planning a holiday in Sinai (13%this year compared with 5% last year), and an increase of 4% amongIsraelis planning to vacation in the US (43% this year compared with39% last year).All-in-all, 62% of Israelis are planning a vacation in 2010 - a4% decrease - 23% of them in Israel, 21% abroad, 15% are planning aholiday in Israel and abroad, and 3% are planning a holiday but havenot yet decided where.