Israel Welcomes More than 2 Million Tourists in 20222 min read
The Tourism Ministry in Israel revealed that more than two million tourists had visited the country between January and October.
It also added that they expect this number to climb to 2.5 million by the year end. Last month, figures from the ministry showed that the first 10 months of the year had seen 2,078,000 tourists come to Israel.
If tourists continue to come at the same rate in the remaining two months, the ministry believes that the total number of tourists to come into Israel would be between 2.4 to 2.6 million.
It should be noted that these figures are not even close to the number of tourists that Israel had welcomed back in 2019.
It had been the strongest year for Israel in terms of tourism, as more than 4.5 million people had come to the country.
Nevertheless, the numbers indicate that the industry might be on its way to recovery, as inbound tourism is once more showing good numbers.
The country had opened its skies this year in March, as that was when most of the travel restrictions in place due to COVID-19 had been lifted.
This summer, they also introduced new requirements for international arrivals. Health insurance policies are a must for foreign nationals, which should cover treatment of COVID-19.
Signs of recovery can also be seen in figures from the hotel industry. The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) revealed that between January and October, the total number of hotel stays was 19.3 million.
In 2019, the same period had about 21.8 million hotel stays. There has been 61% hotel occupancy this year so far, while the first nine months in 2019 had a hotel occupancy of 70%.
Out of the 19.3 million hotel stays this year, 29%, or 5.6 million were by foreign tourists, while domestic tourists, or Israelis, had about 13 million hotel stays.
As for 2019, the CBS said that foreigners had contributed to 10 million hotel stays, while locals had been responsible for 12 million.
CBS data also shows that since May, there has been 65% general occupancy for every month. Southern Israel has seen the strongest recovery, as general occupancy rates between January and October reached 68.8%.
Before the pandemic, this number had stood at 70.9%. The occupancy for hotels in the Dead Sea region and Eilat has been more than 70% for October.
Between January and October, the hotel occupancy in the Jerusalem area had reached 54.4%, while 60.7% occupancy was recorded in Tel Aviv, lower than 74.5% back in 2019.
Israel has been working on diversifying and growing the number of hotel rooms in order to improve their recovery and fulfill demand.
According to the Tourism Ministry, internationally rated luxury hotels are short in number and they also need cheaper yet modern hotels at reasonable price points.
There are currently seven domestic groups that have most of the hotel ownership, which are Fattal Hotel Group, Dan Hotels, Brown Hotels, Atlas Hotels, Orchid Hotels, Prima Hotels and Isrotel.