1,200 Bahais cancel visit because of SARS
Hundreds of Bahais from the Far East were due to attend a conference in HaifaDavid Hayoun 10 Apr 03 19:57
The Bahai community cancelled a conference in Haifa. 1,200 people were scheduled to attend the 12-day conference, scheduled for late April. The cancellation is a heavy blow to Haifa’s tourist industry, especially the hotels that would have hosted the visitors.
Tourist sources said the conference would have generated over NIS 10 million in revenue to the city’s hotels and businesses.
The conference would have been the largest Bahai conference in five years. The Bahai community has spent hundreds of millions of shekels to develop the Bahai Gardens in Haifa, a unique attraction on a global scale.
Sources in the community said the cancellation was unrelated to the regional security situation, as the Bahais had never abandoned Israel even in hard times.
One of the reasons for the cancellation is the SARS outbreak in the Far East, wher most of the conference participants are from. Tourism industry sources said the Bahais were also worried that the security situation would disrupt flight plans.
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