Israel's relations with Turkey may have reached a historic low following the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador from Ankara, but Turkey still plans to take part in a tourism fair scheduled to be held in Tel Aviv next month.
The international tourism fair – held annually at Tel Aviv's Exhibition Grounds – is sponsored by the Tourism Ministry, Israel Hotel Association and El Al Airlines, and serves are a unique opportunity to promote tourism in Israel.
More than 800 representatives from 28 countries are expected to take part in the fair this year and present intriguing destinations, attractions and vacation offers.
The countries taking part in the fair this year include Sri Lanka, Albania, Papua New Guinea, Taiwan and others.
"This is one of the main regional tourism fairs and the number and quality of the participants can be seen as an expression of trust in Israeli tourism," says Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov.
Despite the tense diplomatic relations, the Turks are interested in seeing Israeli tourists return to their vacation resorts and are trying to make them favor Turkey over Greece and Cyprus, which have served as an alternative in the past few years.
"I am glad that in spite of the diplomatic tensions Turkey is still interested in taking part in the tourism conference," says Eyal Shmueli, the publisher and editor-in-chief of Israel Travel News and one of the fair's initiators.
"The Turkish participation proves that they are interested in bringing the Israeli tourist back," He adds.