Hotel group: October breaks all records for tourist stays

Hotels around the country registered a total of 1.21 million nightly stays, an increase of 7 percent over the previous record month.

November 24, 2010 05:34
2 minute read.
Tel Aviv's beach promenade.

tel aviv beach front_311. (photo credit: (Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post))

The rush of tourists into Israel in October led to an all-time monthly record in tourist stays in Israeli hotels. According to data released Tuesday by the Israel Hotel Association, hotels around the country registered a total of 1.21 million nightly stays, an increase of 7 percent over the previous record month, which was March 2000.

Another record was broken in national average occupancy rates, which reached 81%, an 11% increase over October 2009 and an all-time record for a given month.

On the downside, hotel stays by Israelis dropped 16% from last year.

“We conclude the month of October with great satisfaction. For years we have been talking about the tourism industry’s potential. Recently we have started witnessing results, much of them due to appropriate marketing budgets and activities done by the Tourism Ministry,” said IHA president Eli Gonen.

“The figures from the hotels teach, among other things, about the success of the marketing pilot in North America. For three years now, the Tourism Ministry has been investing growing budgets in the North American market, which is now producing results. The same goes for the growing tourist numbers from Russia and Germany.”

October saw tourist hotel stays increase all across the country. Nearly a third of all stays, 400,000, were registered in Jerusalem (a 26% increase over last year), but increases were also seen in Tel Aviv (245,000 stays), Tiberias (122,000 stays), Eilat (124,000), the Dead Sea (83,000) Netanya (44,000 ), Nazareth (36,000) and Haifa (26,000).

Occupancy rates were also high across the board, but the record was registered in Tel Aviv, which saw a 90% occupancy rate. In second place was Jerusalem, with 88% occupancy and third was the Dead Sea with 87%.

Drops in hotel stays by Israelis were also registered across the board. Here again Jerusalem leads the trend with a drop of 41% from October 2009. Smaller drops were registered in Tel Aviv (16%), Haifa (20%) and Tiberias (36%). Eilat, which is the preferred vacation destination for Israelis, registered a drop of 12%.

The drop in hotel stays by Israelis is attributed to two main causes: the increase in demand by foreign tourism, which spiked up prices and reduced the number of available rooms and the timing of the Jewish holidays, which this year all fell in September.

Since the beginning of the year there has been a 9% increase in total hotel stays over the period January- October 2009, with a total of 18.3 million stays. The average occupancy rate for the whole period stands at 66%, an 11% increase over 2009.

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