In the wake of Operation Pillar of Defense, hotel reservations in Israel are down some 10 to 20 percent and the slowdown is predicted to continue in the near future, according to a Sunday Tourism Ministry press release.
Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov called the damage to the industry “not insignificant.” Misezhnikov, top Tourism Ministry officials and leaders of the tourism industry met Thursday to “formulate a plan to return to normal,” the release said.
According to the industry leaders, the slowdown in hotel reservations has been felt across the country, not just the areas that were affected by rocket fire from Gaza during the recent Israel-Hamas conflict. However, they said, the “potential for rehabilitation” is good, especially as compared to other, similar crises.
The airline industry does not show long-term effects from the conflict, as “no scheduled airline canceled incoming flights and only a few charter flights were canceled,” the Tourism Ministry said.
“Operational steps will be taken within the next few weeks to return incoming tourism to its path of steady growth of the last three years,” said Tourism Minister Misezhnikov. “The scope of the damage to the tourism industry is not insignificant, but rehabilitating tourism and ensuring that residents in the south once again have income is an important part of the victory and is a national mission.”