40 percent drop in tourism since war

Sunday, October 29, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
The government will conduct a special discussion regarding the crisis in the tourism industry in Israel after estimates show a sharp decrease in tourism traffic since the war in Lebanon this summer.

The discussion will take place ahead of the World Travel Market tourism exhibition, the second largest tourism exhibition in the world, to be held in London next month. During the exhibition, the Ministry Tourism will place a large booth promoting Israel’s tourism industry.

The discussion will take place at the request of Tourism Minister Yitzhak Herzog, after a reported drop of 30 to 40 percent in the number of tourists entering Israel in 2006. Tourism ministry predictions from before the war estimated that during 2006 2.6 million tourists would arrive from around the world.

The dramatic drop in the number of incoming tourists has had a great impact on the number of people employed by the tourism industry and the state income from tourism.

Tourism Minister Herzog, together with the director-general of his office Nahum Itzkovich and other ministry elements, have been planning a $150 million investment plan for the tourism industry in Israel over the next three years for the marketing and promotion of Israel as a tourist destination around the world.

In addition to the plan, the ministry is also demanding a massive investment in tourism infrastructure and capital incentive programs for the construction of new hotels and the upgrade of existing ones.

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