Israel inbound tourism expected to fall 20% in 2009


In a survey of more than 200 members of the tourist industry, including hoteliers, travel agents, members of the aviation industry, tourist guides, restaurateurs, transport managers, results show that they expect 2009 to be a very tough year for tourism in Israel because of both the world economic crisis and the military operation in Gaza.

Based on the results of a survey carried out, incoming tourism to Israel is expected to fall by 30 percent in 2009. More than 88 percent felt that as a result of the fall in incoming tourism, tour operators would provide suitable incentives such as significant discounts encourage Israelis to holiday in Israel.

When questioned whether the large discounts being offered by the Turks, would help to reignite the flow of tourism from Israel to Turkey, following the strained relationship between the two countries, 55.4 percent responded negatively; while a third believe that the discounts would have a positive effect. Overall 27.2 percent estimated that tourism to Turkey would fall in 2009 by up to 30 percent.

When questioned about costs, about 55.4 percent estimated that the average revenue per tourist, which stood at US$1,200 in 2008, would likely fall by about 20 percent in 2009. While 31.8 percent believed that revenue would remain unchanged.