- Associated Press - Thursday, December 3, 2015

JERUSALEM (AP) - Israeli tourism officials are trying to capitalize on the turmoil in the region by marketing the country to Russian visitors as an alternative to Turkey and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.

Israeli officials said Thursday they are launching an outreach campaign to lure Russian tourists.

The campaign was prompted in part by the recent bombing of a Russian airliner over Sinai and Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane.

Russia has responded by suspending flights to and from Egypt and imposing sanctions on Turkey that include a ban on the sales of tour packages. Both countries normally attract several million Russian tourists each year.

Israeli Tourism Minister Yariv Levin says he hopes to see a Russian influx, beginning even in the next few weeks.

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