Israelis are more and more interested in Finland as a tourist destination. This was the first year when Finland was represented in the Tourist Exhibition in Tel Aviv. Most of the people who visited the Exhibition mentioned the Finnish nature, wildlife and nature-close food as Finland's main attractions for Israeli tourists.
"Where in Finland it is possible to play mud volleyball?" Israeli travelers and professional tourist guides asked difficult questions from embassy staff that were representing Finland at the Tourist Exhibition organized in Tel Aviv 10-12.2. This was the first year when Finland participated in the event. Thousands of people had arrived to the fair and the joint booth of Finland and Estonia became very popular among Israeli travelers and professional tourist agents.
Awareness of Finland as a tourist destination has increased in Israel recently. Finland was represented in Israeli Amazing Race TV show this year. In the show Finland was shown as an exotic country with somewhat strange habits and extreme sports. The competitors in the Amazing Race were the ones taking part in the mud volleyball tournament in Finland and gave Israelis the idea that mud volleyball is a common sport in Finland.
Many people who visited our booth were planning their first trip to Finland and wanted to know about the main attractions there. There were also surprisingly many travelers who had visited Finland many times and were into more special activities. "My husband and I have visited Finland often. We like Lapland a lot and we've been there a few times, but for next summer we are planning a two-week bike trip in the Turku archipelago," one traveler told when she stopped by at the Finnish booth.
One of the things that attract Israeli tourists in Finland is Finnish food culture. "We love the Finnish food culture and the simplicity and purity of the raw materials. Our daughter lives in Porvoo and we visit her once a year. "The best Finnish dish is unquestionably the Finnish Karelian pie" an Israeli couple said.
The participation in the Tourist Exhibition was really good promotion for Finland as a tourist destination and it's likely that Finland will take part in the Exhibition also next year.