Israeli judicial controversy causes tourist cancellations
The number of tourist overnight stays in February was 17% lower than in the pre-pandemic February 2019
Yossi Fatael, chief of the Incoming Tour Operators Association in Israel, revealed that a growing number of international tourists are canceling their trips to Israel because of the ongoing protests against the Netanyahu government’s judicial overhaul.
“We started receiving cancellation notices from abroad,” said Fatael, without elaborating on the specific number of cancellations.
“What is happening in Israel is beginning to seep out – the demonstrations, the internal rift, the worry in the world and the fact that ministers in the government have also begun to confront countries abroad. Although the phenomenon is not widespread yet, naturally it could expand as it did in previous times,” Fatael warned.
As in most countries, tourism to Israel dropped off during the COVID-19 pandemic with the country’s closing of the borders. However, 2022 indicated that tourism to Israel could soon surpass pre-pandemic levels.
“2022 was a year of recovery from the corona crisis,” Tourism Minister Haim Katz said in early January. “The trend is positive and breaking the incoming tourism record of 2019 is a realistic goal on the horizon.”
However, publicized images of political chaos and massive anti-government demonstrations are deterring some tourists from visiting the Holy Land. The number of tourist overnight stays in February was 17% lower than in the pre-pandemic February 2019, according to fresh data from the Israel Hotel Association.
“We hope that from March onwards, we will see a recovery in incoming tourism, as well, against the background of the favorable weather and the Tourism Ministry’s campaign worldwide,” stated the association.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.