Amongst the many Israelis planning on vacationing abroad during 2011, only 3% plan on traveling to Turkey, according to information gathered in a recent survey conducted by the Geocartography Institute, under the auspices of the International Mediterranean Tourism Market exhibition, IMTM 2011, which will take place on February 8-9 at the Tel Aviv Fair Grounds.
The survey included 500 men and women who represented a national sample of the adult Jewish population in Israel. The same survey was also conducted last year and two years ago, with the recent findings indicating major changes in Israeli destination travel.
Last year, approximately 10% of Israelis responded that they planned on vacationing in Turkey during 2010, while two years ago, approximately 16% stated they intended to vacation in Turkey during 2009 – a dramatic decrease of 65% and 78%, respectively.
Eyal Shmueli, publisher and editor-in-chief of Israel Travel News, one of the founders of IMTM, commented that "the crisis in the relations between Turkey and Israel has only worsened and Israelis continue to boycott the country and search for other vacation destinations. Despite attempts to soften the rift between the two countries, as shown by Turkey's assistance during the recent Carmel Mountain fire, spirits seem all the more distant.
"Turks are well aware of the problem and they will be attending the tourism fair with a large booth and make use of all marketing means at their disposal, in an effort to capture Israeli audiences and put a stop to this downward trend in local tourism.
"IMTM is open to the public in the afternoons and I invite everyone to attend. The event welcomes a host of colorful and informative booths from dozens of countries in the region and from local Israeli tour operators."
Europe remains popular
The survey also reported a decline of 45% in the number of Israelis planning to vacation in the Sinai during 2011 (7% this year, as compared to 13% last year), a decrease of 29% in the number of Israelis planning to vacation in the Far East (20% this year, as compared to 28% last year), a decrease of 26% in the number of Israelis planning to vacation in Greece, Cyprus and the Greek Islands (23% this year, as compared to 31% last year), and a decrease of 9% in the number of Israelis planning to vacation in North America (39% this year, compared to 43% last year).
Results also showed that only Europe can maintain its strength, with 74% last year, rendering it a popular destination for Israelis.
Further, the survey studied those Israelis who plan on local destination travel during 2011 and the popular regions in the country. Approximately two-thirds, 67% intend to vacation in the north.
Tiberias and Eilat were also ranked relatively high by half of the Israeli polled - 51% and 50%, respectively, while the Dead Sea followed in popularity by 47%. Based on the results of the survey, Tel Aviv is the least popular destination for recreation, with only 16% of planned vacations to include Tel Aviv.
Overall, 65% of Israelis are planning vacations during 2011 either in Israel or abroad. Compared with the statistics of previous years, Israeli travel remains relatively stable (65% this year, 62% last year, and 66% who planned to vacation in 2009). The number of Israelis planning local vacations is relative to those planning vacations abroad - 22% in the country, as compared with 24% abroad.
About 14% of Israelis are planning a holiday during 2011, both in Israel and abroad, and approximately one-quarter of Israelis, 26%, stated that they do not have any travel plans this year.
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