Some 4.3 million lodgings were reported in northern hotels and guest houses during the first 10 months of 2007, compared with 3.5 million lodgings in the parallel period of 2006, the Tourism Ministry said Wednesday, a sign the region is recovering from Second Lebanon War, which hurt the area's tourism industry. The ministry on Wednesday set a target of 5 million lodgings for 2008, including 2 million by tourists, compared with an expected 1.3 million tourist lodgings this year. To that end, the ministry initiated a series of festive events and allocated an additional budget of NIS 2.5 million to encourage and support the local tourist operators who absorbed a financial blow as a result of the war. They had already received NIS 197m. after the war to assist the industry. During December, tourist events will be held in 10 northern centers: Safed, the local Arab council that includes the villages of Bu'eine and Nujeidat, Kiryat Shmona, Ma'alot, Karmiel, Haifa, Tiberius, Nahariya, Acre and Hatzor.