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Cyprus and Israel joining forces on tourism.


Jacqueline Agathocleous

CYPRUS AND Israel are set to unite forces to improve tourist flow between and towards the two countries.In a meeting between Commerce Minister Antonis Paschalides and his Israeli counterpart, Stas Misezhnikov, it was yesterday decided the two states would create a common committee that will examine the market and come up with innovative ways to improve the two states' tourism sectors."We decided to create a committee of the two ministries and corresponding Tourism Organisations, as well as private businesses, to propose specific suggestions to reinforce the tourist relations between the two countries and we both believe that there are great prospects for improvement," said Paschalides.The private businesses will include chambers, airlines and other tourism-related enterprises, which the minister said could contribute to coming up with new and inventive ideas."We also agreed to organise workshops for the two countries to present a common package to attract tourists to Cyprus and Israel, from counties such as the USA, Russia and maybe even England," he added, before stressing that Israelis are very powerful in the US.On his part, the Israeli minister said tourism was a vast contributor to both countries' economies, while he referred to the historic relations between Cyprus and Israel, as well as their geographical advantages."We attach great importance to our mutual relationship in the tourism field," said Misezhnikov. "We have the mutual history, mutual geographical position, short distance between our countries; we can have much better cooperation between our two countries."He added that there was room to enlarge the market of tourism between the island and Israel. "We can apply to third states, Cyprus is very strong in Britain, we are very strong in the USA market, we are both strong in the Russian market and we can apply to those markets to build very interesting packages for tourism."Referring to the special committee, Misezhnikov said the aim was for it to start work immediately. "We want to enlarge the cooperation with our countries and the market of movement between our countries," he concluded.Meanwhile, Paschalides said the ministry was readjusting its estimations following the loss of some 35,000 arrivals in April due to the Icelandic volcano ash.He said one month could not represent the outcome of an entire year."Our effort is to win the majority of these tourists back at a later period," said Paschalides. The minister added that there had been a big increase in arrivals from Russia, which wasn't affected by the volcanic cloud."We have optimistic indications. We need to continue our efforts, offer good quality tourism, be welcoming and I hope the results will be positive," said Paschalides.

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Publication:Cyprus Mail (Cyprus)
Date:May 15, 2010
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