Due to the security situation, hotels in locations under intensive rocket fire in the south such as Ashkelon and Be'er Sheva have occupancy rates of 15% to 50% and most of the hotel guests there are media people reporting from the region. Hotels in other areas of the country offered accommodations this past weekend to residents of the south.
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With respect to incoming foreign tourists, Ronen Shai, CEO of the Rimonim hotel chain, said there have been a few cancelations and telephone calls from wholesalers abroad who are interested in clarifying the situation. This year has seen a record number of tourists visiting Israel from abroad, and it is not clear what impact the current military operation will have.
Until the first air raid siren in Tel Aviv on Thursday, hotels in the city had not experienced cancelations, according to Eli Ziv, CEO of the Tel Aviv Hotel Association. Since then, a few foreign tourists have asked to check out earlier than planned. "But they were a few dozen," he said, adding that the real effect of the situation would be apparent on Monday, at the beginning of the business week abroad.
"As of the past weekend, I haven't heard about tourists asking to vacate their rooms, said Ami Etgar, CEO of Israel Incoming Tour Operators. "With regard to tourists due to arrive in the next several days, as of Saturday, there were a few cancelations, some from groups and some from individuals, which is negligible, and we have also had no request to leave the country early."
He added: "In the coming days, we will know better how these things will affect tourist traffic."