Israeli Tourism Minister: Turkmenistan needs large PR-campaign to attract tourists

Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, Feb. 11 / Trend H. Hasanov /

If the Turkmen side wants to attract Israeli tourists, it should think about large-scale PR-campaign. Israeli Minister of Tourism Stas Misezhnikov's opinion was given in the article of the Israeli Internet portal IzRus.

This topic was discussed during his meeting with next Israeli ambassador in Turkmenistan Reuven Dinel.

"Most Israelis do not know about Turkmenistan's location and potential for tourism. Not only mass media's opportunities but tour operators' ones are important if they are interested in this country to be an alternative to Turkey," Minister said.

IzRus Israeli source said that the flow from Israel to Turkey reduced by over 40 percent amid the aggravation of inter-state relations in 2009. Thus, Turkish resorts shift to visitors from Iran and Arab countries.

Dinel said that the alternative for the Israeli mass tourism can be Turkmenistan. It will create a strong economic base for the development of bilateral relations.

The article says that Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedov has initiated a mega-project Avaza with an area of 5,000 hectares in the Caspian Sea. It is planned to build more than 50 hotels. A number of hotels have been opened. Cottages, recreational and sports centers are being built in Avaza.

Many attractions, including "roller coaster" with height of 30 meters, oceanarium, Dolphinarium, a planetarium, an indoor ski center, ice rink, snow-covered hills will be there. Hallmark of "Avaza" will be 7-kilometer-artificial river, which will stretch from the Caspian Sea along the entire resort, by turning it into an island.

Numerous casinos can be especially attractive to the Israelis, IzRus reported. Cheap hotels will be also important. Apartments at four-star European hotels cost $50-75, and three-bedroom luxury room - $ 108 per night.

In an interview with IzRus new ambassador in Ashgabat said that there are many unique monuments of nature, including hundreds of fossilized dinosaur tracks, many kilometer-karst caves, crater lake with rosy water, covering the maw of an ancient volcano in Turkmenistan.

The diplomat enumerated such historical monuments, as ancient Nisa - the capital of Parthia. Its property extended to the territory of modern Israel at the peak of power. "The Great Silk Road" stretched through Turkmenistan. Medieval masterpieces of Islamic architecture were preserved.

Chairman of Flying Carpet company directors' board Yaron Miller spoke about the prospects of Turkmenistan in the sphere of tourism. He said that it is necessary to explore the area "Avaza", see the hotels, to understand the level of prices. Furthermore, it is essential to create a situation without visas. If there are visas, it is initially undermines the whole project. The Israelis decide to go abroad on vacation - the day before departure.

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