Israel Lowering Interest Rate Again As Economy Struggles Amid Gaza Op

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Jerusalem — Israel’s central bank is reducing its interest rate to an all-time low to counteract a foundering economy due in part to the Gaza military operation.

Hoteliers Happy To See October

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.

Last month saw a 16 percent drop in foreign tourism, compared to September 2012, according to a recent report from Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).

The Rimonim Royal Dead Sea features a spa, above, and one of the region’s largest health clubs.

Negev Emerges From Tourism Wilderness

Text By Steve Lipman
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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.”

The Negev has become a top tourist destination. Getty Images

Checking Your E-Mule on a Donkey In Israel

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.

Tourists at Kfar Kedem in Israel will now have WiFi access while riding donkeys

Tourism’s Mixed Picture In ‘11

A near-record year for foreign travel was hurt by the Arab Spring and Europe’s debt woes.

Special To The Jewish Week

First, the good news: The Israel Hotel Association reported that foreign tourism in 2011 nearly paralleled 2010’s record-breaking season, when close to 3.5 million visitors flocked to the Holy Land.

Now, the bad news: The Arab Spring and the ongoing economic turmoil in the Euro Zone continue to take their toll on travel to Israel.

Rimonim Galei Kinnereth Hotel’s Ben Gurion Suite, left. Below, Dan Tel Aviv Hotel’s Lobby Lounge.

And The Tourists Came … In Droves

2010 was a record year for foreign tourism to Israel.

Israel Correspondent

 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.

The Arab market of the Old City of Jerusalem, above, is now a must-visit destination for visitors. Right, Yoram Twitto.

Israel On Pace To Set Tourism Mark


(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.

The Bad And The Beautiful

Associate Editor

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.

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