Hotel overnights in Israel in October 2021 showed enormous differences in how hotels in different parts of the country have been faring during the Covid crisis with overseas tourists barred from entering the country, except in special circumstances.
According to the report by the Israel Hotels Association, there were 1.5 million overnight stays in accommodation in October, 92% of them by Israelis. This figure is 23% higher than October 2019, despite the absence of foreign tourists, presumably because Israelis are preferring a ‘staycation’ rather than traveling abroad.
Tourists trickle back to Israel as 2% refused entry
The national average occupancy for Israeli hotels in October was 49%, with lower figures than October 2019 in most areas of Israel, except Eilat.
Eilat hotels had average occupancy of 78% in October 2021 compared with 69% in October 2019. Average occupancy in October 2021 was 70% at the Dead Sea, 59% in the Upper Galilee and 46% around the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee).
The absence of foreign tourists has been a disaster for Jerusalem hotels, which had 30% occupancy in October 2021 compared with 76% in October 2019. Tel Aviv hotels had 35% occupancy last month compared with 70% in October 2019 and worst hit of all was Nazareth’s hotels, which recorded just 13% occupancy last month compared with 80% in October 2019.
Haifa’s hotels had 45% average occupancy last month, Netanya’s hotels also 45% and Tiberias hotels 33%.
It remains to be seen whether the official opening of Israel’s borders on November 1 to vaccinated tourists will have any impact on the hotel overnights figures in the coming months. The strict requirements, which require tourists to have had a booster jab, if their second Covid vaccination was more than six months ago, is expected to severely limit the number of overseas tourists entering Israel.
Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – on November 24, 2021.
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