The trends in the Israeli hotel industry continued in November. Israelis prefer overseas vacations to vacationing in Israel. The number of tourist overnights, on the other hand, is increasing although not by the same rate as the number of tourists visiting Israel, which means that many foreign tourists prefer short-term rental apartments to hotels.
Figures compiled by the Israel Hotel Association show 2.1 million overnights in in November, the same as in November 2017 and 11% more than in November 2016. 1.19 million of these overnights were by foreign tourists, 4% more than in November 2017 and 22% more than in November 2016.
Foreign tourist overnights accounted for 57% of total overnights. 35% of the foreign tourist overnights were in Jerusalem and 20% in Tel Aviv. Overnights by Israel totaled 878,000, 4% less than in November 2017 and the same as in November 2016.
Hotel occupancy stood at 74% in November, the same as in November 2017 and 4% higher than in November 2016. Topping the hotel occupancy list was Nazareth with 85%, following by Jerusalem (83%), Tel Aviv (79%), the Dead Sea, Tiberias, and Haifa (75%), Eilat (72%), and Netanya (61%). Nationwide hotel occupancy averaged 69%, compared with 67% in 2017.
Israel had 54,864 hotel rooms in November, 2% more than in November 2017 and 6% more than in November 2016.
Foreign tourist overnights totaled 10.7 million in January-November, 9% more than in the corresponding period last year, and Israeli overnights totaled 12.6 million, the same as in the corresponding period last year. Overnights totaled 23.3 million in January-November, 4% more than in the corresponding period last year.
According to figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics, tourist entries to Israel rose from 3.3 million in January-November 2017 to 3.8 million in January-November 2018, a 14% increase, compared with the 9% rise in foreign tourist overnights. The gap reflects a preference for staying in places other than hotel rooms, especially short-term rental apartments.
The Hotel Association said in response, "The especially high occupancy rates in Nazareth and Jerusalem signals an upward trend in pilgrimage tourism in Israel during this period. Unfortunately, the gaps between the number of tourist entries and the number of hotel overnights shows a growing tendency among tourists to use unregulated alternative overnights, such as short-term rentals of vacation apartments."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on December 23, 2018
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