More than a year after the end of Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s hotel industry has not yet fully recovered, according to statistics released Sunday.
While the Israel Hotel Association reported an eight percent increase in incoming tourism compared to July of last year during the counterterrorism operation, it also reported a decline of 17% in incoming tourism compared to July 2013.
“We are still fighting to recover from last year,” said Avi Dor, CEO of the Prima Hotels chain, in an interview with Arutz Sheva.
“We still have problems with filling up the hotels, with tourists mostly, due to the fact that the situation is still in the news, we still have issues in Jerusalem,” he continued.
The solution, Dor believes, lies in “ongoing marketing because this is the only way we can recover from this situation.”
That marketing, he continued, is done by the state and not by each individual hotel chain, and seeks to take Israel out of the context of bad news and highlight the many positives in Israel.
Israel’s tourism is also negatively affected by the high value of the shekel and the goings on in Russia from a financial standpoint due to Western sanctions, said Dor.
Turning to potential tourists, Dor said, “I think that we have a lovely country. We have very nice attractions over here. We are very friendly, in the hotels and in the entire Israeli community, and I think it’s a very good choice to come and visit Israel.