Eilat and Dead Sea resorts to be packed for Rosh Hashana

Israel Hotel Association says average occupancy to be 80 percent.

By RON FRIEDMAN
August 24, 2010 03:27
2 minute read.
Eilat, with Jordanian Aqaba in the background.

Eilat and Aqaba 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )

 
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The Israel Hotel Association released its holiday occupancy rate forecasts on Monday, saying that hotels will be averaging 80 percent occupancy nationwide for Rosh Hashana.

According to the IHA, which collect data from 350 hotels across the country, the highest occupancy rates will be registered in Eilat and the Dead Sea, while the hotels in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, will operate at medium occupancy.

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The seaside resorts of Eilat and the Dead Sea are expected to operate at near full capacity this September, with bookings indicating between 90%-95% occupancy rates.

Tourism Minister Stas Meseznikov will be in Eilat on Tuesday to see firsthand the preparations taking place in the tourism city’s hotels.

Also expecting high occupancy rates are the kibbutz guesthouses, which are anticipating 85%-90% capacity.

Out of Israel’s three largest cities, Haifa is expected to lead the way in hotel occupancy at 80%-90%, followed by Tel Aviv with 70% and Jerusalem, which is only expected to register 65% occupancy.

IHA director general Shmuel Zurel explained the variance between the different locations.



“Jerusalem and Tel Aviv rely mainly on incoming tourism and to a lesser degree on local tourism by Israelis. Traditionally they do not report high occupancy rates for Rosh Hashana. Moreover, demands for Rosh Hashana are mostly by Jews who come to Israel from abroad, some of whom own apartments in those cities and take advantage of them during their holiday visits.”

Zurel added, however, that Succot occupancy forecasts for Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are also on the low side, 50% in Tel Aviv and 65%- 67% in Jerusalem.

“This is somewhat of a disappointment since Succot has traditionally been considered a period of high demand among Evangelical Christians wishing to visit Jerusalem. As for Tel Aviv, it is a trend that repeats itself every year. Fewer businesspeople visit Israel in September and it affects occupancy rates.”

According to Daka 90 Tourism Company, 90,000 Israelis will stay at Israeli hotels during the upcoming holiday season, 10% more than last year. The company reported that most of the rooms have already been booked since mid July and that prices for three nights over the holiday ranged from NIS 1,500 to 1,900 per person.

The average holiday meal at a hotel is expected to cost between NIS 200-300 per person.

The Israel Aviation Authority estimated that during the upcoming holiday season 1,185,000 passengers will pass through Ben- Gurion International Airport on 7,370 flights, a 13% increase in passengers numbers over the same period in 2009.


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