The media including the travel industry media, tends to have an almost obsessive focus on negative stories from the Eastern Med including the conflict between Israel and the Hamas dominated Gaza Strip and the internal problem in Lebanon. While these problems are very real there remains a lot of positive news. Tourism to the Eastern Mediterranean is experiencing a boom with tourism to Israel, Turkey, Jordan, Greece, Egypt, Croatia, Libya, Serbia, Montenegro, Slovenia and Italy all enjoying healthy growth.
In Australia a unique tourism association celebrates and promotes tourism to all the Eastern Med and has done so since 2001. The Eastern Mediterranean Tourism Association (EMTA) has now been operating in Australia since 2001, From the very beginning EMTA banned politics from its constitution which means that every country in the region which covers all destinations between Italy and Jordan is equally promoted irrespective of the state of political relations between them. In EMTA’s web site www.emta.org.au and it its industry events Israel , Syria, The Palestinian Authority and Israel, Serbia and Croatia all appear on the same bill despite the obvious political tensions between them. Australian Travelers want to travel to all these destinations and don’t want political enmities to get in their way.
During February and March 2008 EMTA ran a series of seven travel industry workshops in major Australian cities including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra and the Gold Coast attended by 800 Australian travel professionals. Since EMTA commenced its product evenings over 6,000 Australian travel agents have learned about the region.
EMTA's medlemmer er hovedsageligt grossister, flyselskaber og nationale turistkontorer. Som en strategi for langdistanceflyvning regional turismemarkedsføring fra Australien har EMTA draget fordel af alle sine medlemmer ved at give dem en platform til at promovere regionalt Eastern Med-tourprodukt, og rejsebureauer får mulighed for at blive orienteret om produkt- og destinationshøjdepunkter i 15 lande enkelt aften.
EMTA-modellen har bevist sin succes i Australien i otte år og ville være lige så succesrig på andre langdistancekildemarkeder til det østlige Med, herunder Amerika og det østlige Asien.
The author is the founder and current National Secretary of the Eastern Mediterranean Tourism Association (Australia). The chairman is Iain Ferguson Regional Manager (Australasia) Royal Jordanian Airlines.
[David Beirman is the author of the book “Restoring Tourism Destinations in Crisis: A Strategic Marketing Approach” and is the foremost eTN crisis expert. He may be reached via the email address: [e-mail beskyttet]]