Foreign Visitors Spending Record Number of Nights in Israeli Hotels, New Figures Show

Previous statistics showed that 2.18 million foreign visitors came to Israel in the first six months of the year, a 19% increase over the same period in 2017

A general view of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, June 19, 2018
\ AMMAR AWAD/ REUTERS

Earlier this month, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported that 2.18 million foreign visitors came to Israel in the first six months of the year, a 19% increase over the same period in 2017.

Now the Israel Hotel Association is reporting that foreign tourists spent a record number 5.94 million nights at Israeli hotels during the first half of 2018, up about 13% over the first half of last year and 43% higher than in 2016.

The data also show that about half of all stays at Israeli hotels between January and June of this year were made by foreign visitors and half by Israelis.

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Among Israeli hotel guests, Eilat is the favorite destination, followed by the Dead Sea. Fully 34% of all foreign tourist hotel nights for first six months of this year were spent in Jerusalem, with another 24% in Tel Aviv.

The national hotel occupancy rate for the country’s 54,000 hotel rooms for the first six months was 67% -- up 4% over the period last year.  Tel Aviv’s hotels had the highest occupancy at 77%, followed by Jerusalem and the Dead Sea at 70% each, Eilat at 69%, Tiberias and Haifa at 64%, Herzliya at 62%, Nazareth at 61% and Netanya with 58%.