Following Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer’s comments last week at the
OECD Tourism Conference, where he said that hotel prices in Israel are high in
comparison to other countries, Israeli tourism company, Aladdin Travel, decided
to check the statement empirically.
The company conducted a survey
comparing a November weekend stay in Tel Aviv with the same type of stay in
eight leading European cities and found that in all but one case, Israeli prices
were indeed higher.
The survey examined the rates of hotels that belong
to international chains for the first two weekends in November based on double
occupancy rooms, for two nights, including breakfast.
While a room at the
Tel Aviv Hilton costs NIS 3,000, the same deal costs the equivalent of NIS 1,316
in Barcelona, NIS 1,984 in Berlin and NIS 1,016 in Prague. Even in London and
Amsterdam, where prices are higher, they don’t reach the equivalent of NIS
In the Leonardo chain, visitors to Tel Aviv can expect to pay NIS
2,020 for a weekend at the Plaza and NIS 1,500 at the chains City Tower hotel in
Ramat Gan. Meanwhile, at the Leonardo Royal in Berlin, a weekend stay costs NIS
900; at the Leonardo Rigihof in Zurich, NIS 950, and at the Leonardo Wavre
outside Brussels, NIS 760.
A weekend at the Tel Aviv Holiday Inn Crown
Plaza costs NIS 2,500. The closest any other surveyed Holiday Inn hotel came to
that was NIS 1,830 in Paris and NIS 1,650 in Amsterdam. In Barcelona, Berlin and
Brussels the price was less than NIS 1,000.
The only hotel chain in the
survey that proved to be more expensive abroad than in Israel was the Meridian
chain, whose deal in London cost NIS 2,812 compared to NIS 2,660 in the chain’s
hotel in Eilat. Other Meridian hotel prices included NIS 2,536 in Barcelona, NIS
1,776 in Paris and NIS 1,648 in Brussels – all lower than in
“Rates in Israeli hotels are higher than those of the same chain
in other countries,” said Eyal Shtark, director of marketing for Aladdin Travel.
“The gaps range between tens and hundreds of percentage points.
findings are surprising since Israel is seen as problematic from a political
perspective, and you would think that the prices would be lower so as to attract
foreign tourists,” he continued.
“The explanation lies in the severe
shortage in hotel rooms. When there is high demand and little supply, these are
But evaluating prices for just a certain week might be
misleading to the public, warned the Israel Hotel Association: “During the first
two weeks of November, occupancy levels in Tel Aviv are at their peak and the
rates are accordingly high. It would have been better to compare the prices
during the peak tourism seasons in other cities, like Paris during Fashion Week
or Berlin during the ITB travel trade show.”
IHTA president Eli Gonen
said that the main reasons for the relatively high hotel rates in Israel are the
high operating costs for labor, power, water and construction.
estimated that there is a shortage of 18,000 hotel rooms in Israel. The Tourism
Ministry has recently begun to encourage more investment in hotels.
Tuesday, Tourism Minister Stas Meseznikov said the shortage in hotel rooms will
“severely affect the demand for incoming tourism” in years to come.