Israel's hotels recorded 2.1 million overnight stays in July, the Israel Hotels Association reports, 94% from domestic tourists and just 6% from the few foreign tourists (group tourism or those with special permits) who were able to enter the country despite Covid travel restrictions, Trend reports with reference to Globes.
Eilat enjoyed 87% occupancy during July and other domestic tourism hotspots like the Dead Sea had 71% occupancy. However, cities that rely more on foreign tourism like Jerusalem had only 38% occupancy, Nazareth had 24% occupancy and Tel Aviv had 50% occupancy. Haifa had 58% occupancy and Netanya and Tiberias both had 60% occupancy.
Eilat with 11,000 hotel rooms and 800,000 overnight stays recorded similar occupancy and numbers of overnight stays to July 2020 and 2019. But Jerusalem's hotels hosted only 186,000 overnight stays in July, less than half the number in 2019. Tel Aviv's 9,000 hotel rooms hosted 225,000 overnight stays in July, down 37% from 2019.
Hotel overnight stays between January and July 2021 totaled 7.3 million, of which 7 million (96%) were by Israelis, compared with 14.7 million overnight stays over the same period of 2019, of which 7.6 million were by Israelis (down 8%).
The Israel Hotel Association said, "Despite the encouraging summer statistics, mainly in regions that were always strong in domestic tourism, many difficulties are expected in cities relying on foreign tourism. This is due to the plunge in occupancy and uncertainty over policies for allowing entry for foreign tourists. The period after the summer and the holidays will require some 270 hotels to reconsider the nature of their activities on the assumption that the severe restrictions on incoming tourism will continue."