Israeli Hotel Industry Losing $125 Million as a Result of Summer War

Hotels across the country affected as foreign tourists stay away in their thousands.

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Tourists in Tel Aviv. High hotel prices, poor public transportation and the shekel exchange rate are putting them off, according to a Tourism Ministry survey of outgoing visitors.
Tourism in Israel has slumped since the Gaza conflict broke out.Credit: Eyal Toueg
Zohar Blumenkrantz
Rina Rozenberg Kandel

Hotels in Israel are expected to see a 340 million shekel ($99 million) loss in revenue from foreign visitors in the third quarter of this year as a result of the current hostilities. They are also projected to lose about 85 million shekels in income from Israeli customers.

At the beginning of the fighting, the only hotels that saw their businesses suffer were relatively close to the Gaza border in Ashkelon, Ashdod and Be’er Sheva. But as the range of the rocket fire from Gaza quickly expanded to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and areas in the north, hotels all over the country began to receive cancellations. Perhaps even more importantly for their bottom line, reservations for future bookings have stalled.

Before the outbreak of the current hostilities, it was predicted that 803,000 visitors from abroad would be coming to Israel between July and September – an increase of 15% over the period last year – following strong foreign tourist business during the first half of 2014. Now it is thought that arrivals will be 280,000 short of that forecast for the three-month period.

Although virtually all foreign airlines have continued to serve Israel, Korean Air temporarily suspended operation of its three weekly flights as of Saturday, citing security concerns.

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