October sees drop in number of tourists

Biggest fall in overnight hotel stays recorded in Galilee (39%), followed by Haifa (33%), Dead Sea (30%) and Jerusalem (27%)
Danny Sadeh

October saw a 23% drop in the number of tourists who stayed in Israeli hotels, the Israel Hotel Association (IHA) reported Wednesday.



According to the figures, the number of tourists’ overnight stays totaled only 930,000 last month, with the biggest drop recorded in the Galilee (39%), followed by Haifa (33%), the Dead Sea (30%) and Jerusalem (27%). Not a single region in Israelrecorded a rise in tourist stays in October.



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Israelis’ hotel stays, however, were up 12% last month – mainly due to the fact that there were no flights to Turkey during the High Holidays, a drop was recorded in visits to Sinai and the number of vacations in Greece were below expectations.



In total, October recorded 1.9 million hotel stays, an 8% drop compared to the same period last year.



IHA President Ami Federman said Wednesday that the September-October results point to an ongoing drop in tourist stays.



„In these two months, hotels recorded some 1.6 million tourist stays, a 9% drop compared to the same period last year. We are seeing a continuation of the downward trend which began in August,” Federman said.




„These results represent the slowdown in hotel reservations on the backdrop of the unusual events in Middle Eastern countries and the global financial crisis atmosphere.”



He added, „Following reports received from the hotels, we expect the slowdown in incoming tourism to continue in the coming months and in the first quarter of 2012.”