Israeli tourists surge 86 pct after apology
ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
The number of Israeli tourists in Turkey rose by 86 percent in June. DHA photoThe number of Israeli tourists visiting Turkey increased by 86 percent from 7,369 to 13,713 in June compared to the same month last year, after the formal apology by Israel for the Mavi Marmara killings 2010.
The number of Israeli tourists surged by around 80 percent to 57,000 in the first half of 2013 from 31,652 in the same period of the previous year.
“After the Mavi Marmara incident in 2010, Turkey lost most of its Israeli tourists to Greece or other countries. Fortunately just after the Israel’s formal apology in March 2013, this trend began to turn around for us,” an Antalya-based tourism representative said, adding that the number of their Israeli guests had increased to 5,500 this year, up from 1,300 last year.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s formal apology to Turkey over the Mavi Marmara killings of 2010 had already increased Turkish tourism companies’ expectations to return back to the heyday of Israeli-Turkish tourism ties, as they will have more space to promote Turkey as a tourism spot since the political constraints are removed.
Following the incident in 2010, tourism between the two countries decreased sharply, and in 2011 the number of Israeli tourists visiting Turkey dropped sharply to 79,140, down from around a half million in 2008, according to data obtained by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics.