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October 17, 2022 9:16 am

Israel Struggles to Bring Tourism Figures to Pre-Pandemic Level

avatar by i24 News

Israel’s Netanya beachfront. Photo: Flickr.

i24 NewsWhile 277,700 visitors arrived in Israel in September 2022, this figure fell 39 percent compared to the record number of 436,500 visitors in 2019, before the Covid pandemic, according to the Jewish state’s Bureau of Statistics.

The September figures were especially disappointing for a holiday month when many Diaspora Jews traditionally travel to the country for vacation. A recovery of tourism in Israel is lagging behind the global average, which already exceeded 60 percent of pre-pandemic figures in July.

Restrictions on the entry of foreign tourists to Israel were only fully lifted last March and the Tourism Ministry expected the number of visitors to Israel in 2022 to be between 2.2 and 2.5 million, well below the 2019 record of 4.55 million.

Between January and September 2022, only 1.8 million visitors came to Israel, compared to 3.5 million in January-September 2019.

Earlier in September, the Israel Airports Authority released a forecast suggesting that more than four million Israelis would fly abroad for the Jewish holidays which began in late September and will end on Tuesday. The most popular destinations for Israelis were Turkey, Greece, the United States, Italy, and England.

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