September saw dip in foreign tourism but bookings now on the rise as winter season nears.
Special To The Jewish Week
September wasa rough month for tourism to Israel, as the early Jewish holiday season, the volatile shekel/dollar exchange range and Egypt’s political instability combined to trim profit margins of major Israeli hotels.
This month marks a minor anniversary in Israel — the “Lonely Planet” travel guide publisher a year ago placed Israel’s Negev desert second on its list of the world’s top 10 regional travel destinations for 2013.
“For decades the Negev was regarded as nothing but a desolate desert,” the guide stated. “But today, this region is a giant greenhouse of development. Think eco-villages, spa resorts and even wineries. In the next few years a new international airport at Timna is scheduled to open, followed by a high-speed railway to Eilat and more hotels.”
Back in December 2004, I wrote about my technology experience at the Mamshit Camel Ranch, a Bedouin village in Israel. I explained how funny it was to be at a Bedouin village that appeared to be authentically rustic to the Birthright Israel participants I was chaperoning, but behind-the-scenes the place was equipped with the latest technology.
2010 was a record year for foreign tourism to Israel.
Jerusalem — Like many other Israelis who experienced the 1990-‘91 Gulf War and the first and second Palestinian uprisings — all of which devastated tourism to Israel, and especially Jerusalem — I’m always a bit amazed when I see busload upon busload of tourists praying at the Kotel or walking the Via Dolorosa.
With a record 3.45 million visitors, 2010 was the best year ever for Israeli tourism, but it’s taken me, and other Israelis, a while to get used to the fact that outsiders finally consider our country a desirable destination.
(JTA) — Israel is ahead of its record pace for tourism in a year. Some 2.5 million tourists have visited Israel since the beginning of 2010, according to figures kept by the nation's Central Bureau of Statistics. The figure is 9 percent more than in 2008, which was the record tourism year in Israel, and a 27 percent increase over the same period last year.
According to the bureau, 22,300 tourists visited Israel on cruise ships, double the number visiting in September 2009 and three times more than in 2008.
In the novel, “The Ugly American,” one character, a Burmese journalist, notes that “A mysterious change seems to come over Americans when they go to a foreign land. They isolate themselves... They’re loud and ostentatious. Perhaps they’re frightened and defensive, or maybe they’re not properly trained and make mistakes out of ignorance.”
In recent months, journalists have taken notice of the “ugly Israeli” travelers in Asia.