Report: No Dent in Israeli Tourism in September Despite Beginnings of Violence
Leaders and key business people in Israeli tourism optimistically reported few cancellations resulting from the pervasive terrorist attacks across Israel over the past several weeks.
According to Israeli financial newspaper Globes, key leaders in tourism reported September figures in line with the 2012-2013 period, adding that the current situation did not reflect the media perception of a precipitous violent Palestinian uprising.
In fact, according to Israel’s Central Bureau for Statistics, some 225,000 tourists entered Israel in September, 25% more than last year and 6% more than in 2013. Of course, figures last year were likely skewed by the intense 50-day conflict last summer between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, which saw tourism to the Jewish state plummet.
Still, the Tourism Ministry decided to take some concrete measures to ensure business as usual, such as incentivizing tour guides to provide free tours of popular Israeli sites, boosting overseas advertising and promoting hosting decision-makers to come to Israel from abroad.
However, while the current wave of violence began especially around Jerusalem and the Temple Mount over the Jewish high holidays in September, the recent surge mostly spiked in the first few weeks of October, so some of the effects on tourism may not yet be acutely felt.