The World Travel Market (WTM), the world's largest tourism fair, came to a close on November 6-8 in London. With nearly 200 countries represented by approximately 4,000 delegates, tens of thousands of visitors flocked to the event.
Israel's absence was notable
However, due to the ongoing war in Gaza, Israel's absence was notable after 37 consecutive years of showcasing its pavilion to agents, suppliers, and tourists from around the globe. Interestingly, one country present at the fair was "Palestine," a newcomer on the global stage, who drew considerable attention throughout the event.
Palestine set up a booth, as it does annually, displaying their products labeled as "Palestinian goods," which intriguingly originate within Israeli territories, namely Ashdod and Beit Shean.
Among the fair attendees was Michael Moshe Benisho, the owner of Aurora World Travels, an Israeli tourism company. He captured photos of the Palestinian brochure that featured wonders of the "Palestinian state" and its attractions for global tourists.
Benisho shared his observations on Facebook, expressing surprise at the absence of the Israeli pavilion. He highlighted the flourishing booths of neighboring countries, notably Saudi Arabia, with whom Israel has already planned future trips.
In the absence of an Israeli booth, Benisho noted a relatively small booth offering tours to various Palestinian cities, including Jericho, Bethlehem, and Hebron.
Benisho's post received numerous responses from readers who questioned why the Israeli Ministry of Tourism did not represent the country at the London Tourism Fair. When asked about their absence, the Ministry of Tourism responded that it was not the right time to partake in a tourism fair abroad.