Hotel Stays Lag Tourist Arrivals as Industry Struggles to Recover From Last Summer's War

Overnight stays up 8% in July over 2014 figures, but down 17% compared to 2013.

Tourists on a Tel Aviv beach.
Tourists on a Tel Aviv beach.Credit: Tali Meir

Figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics show contradictory trends for Israel’s tourism industry as its struggles to recover from last summer’s Gaza war. The bureau reported Sunday that overnight stays were up 8% from a year ago, but that doesn’t signal a rebound given the downturn last summer. Compared with July 2013, overnight stays were down 17%.

In terms of the number of tourists visiting Israel, July showed the sector doing better. Tourist arrivals reached 245,000, up 26% from a year ago and about the same as in July 2013, the bureau said.

The difference in the two trends may be due to the fact that more tourists are renting apartments through sharing services like Airbnb, instead of staying at hotels. Another possibility is that travelers are staying for shorter periods.

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