The Israel Hotels Association reports that there were 798,000 hotel overnights by tourists in August 2011, 7% fewer than in August 2010. Tourist overnights fell 6% in Tel Aviv, 9% in Jerusalem, and 18% in Eilat. Tourist overnights rose 19% in Tiberias, 17% in Netanya, and 1% at the Dead Sea.
Hotel overnights by Israelis also fell, to 1.5 million in August, 2% fewer than in August 2010. Hotel overnights by Israelis fell 3% in Eilat, 1% in Jerusalem, and 7% in the Galilee. Hotel overnights by Israelis rose 3% at the Dead Sea and in Tel Aviv, and 104% in Nazareth.
Total hotel overnights by tourists and Israelis fell 4% to 2.3 million in August. The hotel occupancy rate fell 6% to 70%.
"The figures show a slowdown in incoming tourism, mainly because of geopolitical events," said Hotels Association president Ami Federmann. He believes that the decline in the number of foreign tourists, due to the situation in the Middle East and the global economic crisis, will continue in the coming months.
"However," Federmann said, "the number of hotel overnights and occupancy rates in January-August were similar to those in the corresponding months of last year. Given the geopolitical and economic situation, this should be considered an achievement that demonstrates the strength of the tourist industry."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 26, 2011
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