A combination of lower airfares and a variety of incentive deals for cash-strapped foreign tourists has most probably saved the Israeli hotel industry from one of the worst Passover seasons in recent memory.
But the extra effort to lure foreign tourists to Israeli hotels for nine- and 10-day holiday packages, which like Sukkot account for a significant portion of annual profits, seems to have come at the expense of marketing the annual summer excursions.
anyone who has visited the holy land knows, Israel is a thoroughly modern country with decidedly unholy traffic snarls, ubiquitous cell phones and all manner of other urban ills.
For some pilgrims, Israel’s highly developed, Westernized culture is a disappointment, as it masks the sights and sounds of biblical times. Jerusalem, for example, may be the holiest city in the world, but it can be hard to envision Temple times with the roar of buses nearby and the smell of pizza in the air.
The Inbal Hotel in Jerusalem, whose officials say it is weathering the overall steep decline in bookings from foreign tourists this year, has added a new health club. It boasts a state-of-the-art “techno-gym,” wet and dry sauna, as well as tastefully decorated treatment rooms offering a wide variety of massages and treatments for body and soul, according to the hotel. The hotel also features a covered and heated swimming pool that is open year-round at no extra charge for guests.