Israel and Jordan will jointly market their respective Red Sea recreational resorts…
Israel and Jordan will jointly market their respective Red Sea recreational resorts, Eilat and Aqaba, to attract international tourists.
The decision was reached in Aqaba last week in a meeting between Israeli Tourism Minister Benny Elon, Aqaba Chief Commissioner and Governor Akel Bilaji and reflects their convergent interests, battered by three years of regional geopolitical instability, terrorism and armed conflict in Israel and the territories, `Jerusalem Post` reported.
The two port resorts are physically isolated from the unrest in Israel and the Palestinian territories. Earlier, they were the favourite winter vacation destinations for Europeans fleeing the Northern cold, especially over the Christmas-New Year period.
In recent years Egypt has proved to be a fierce competitor, aggressively marketing its Sinai holiday resort as the Red Sea Riviera to the Europeans.
Despite a marginal pick-up in tourism in Israel during the last quarter of 2003. Tourism Ministry officials are according high priority to the Gulf of Aqaba area in the hope that cooperation with Jordan will attract greater number of foreign and cruise visitors to the region.
Overall tourism to Israel in 2002 fell by some 33 per cent, relative to 2001 and by 42 per cent on direct package flights to Eilat.
The number of Indians visiting Israel in 2002, mainly on business, also fell by 32 per cent to 9,300, but still formed the largest group of visitors from Asia to this country.
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