Two hundred journalists and travel industry professionals from around the world are participating in an international marketing conference at the Dead Sea this weekend. The purpose of the event is to promote tourism to the Dead Sea, the lowest elevation on earth on dry land.

One focus of the conference, which is a joint initiative of the Dead Sea Hotel Association, the Tamar Regional Council, El Al airlines and the Tourism Ministry, will be the Dead Sea’s candidacy in the finals of the online New 7 Wonders of Nature competition, and another will be the unique production of Verdi’s Nabucco, to be performed by the Israel Opera at the foot of Masada in June 2010. Masada, on the eastern edge of the Judean Desert, overlooks the Dead Sea.

The travel industry professionals will meet with their Israeli counterparts to promote cooperation. Conference participants will tour the Dead Sea region, Masada and David’s Stream and be introduced to the Dead Sea as a unique tourism product that includes spa, beauty and health treatments and is also a venue for entertainment and cultural productions.