Israeli Business Rebounds With Ceasefire

YERUSHALAYIM (Hamodia Staff) -
General view of the BIG Shopping center in Beit Shemesh at night. (Nati Shohat /Flash90)
General view of the BIG Shopping center in Beit Shemesh at night. (Nati Shohat /Flash90)

The sectors of the economy hardest hit by the war in Gaza — retailing, tourism and advertising — are making a quick comeback, at least while the ceasefire holds, Haaretz reports.

“In the last two days, we’ve felt a big increase in visitor traffic. There’s a feeling of liberation in the air,” said Yaron Eshel, deputy CEO for Gazit Globe, which operates 11 shopping malls.

Tourism bookings suddenly tripled, as Wednesday traffic outstripped Sunday by three times, according to Ziv Rosen, CEO of Gulliver.

“Everyone who was sitting on the fence for so long is now planning a vacation. A very big recovery started a few days ago and it’s starting to look like August will be just an ordinary summer month,” said Ilan Shalev, head of commercial collaboration at Kavei Hufsha, another travel firm.

It wasn’t fear of going into public places or just a general consumer anxiety that accounted for the slowdown. The massive reserve call-up directly interfered with summer travel plans.

“We had 80,000 heads of households who were called up for reserve duty and couldn’t make reservations. They’re the core of the coming wave of reservations,” he predicted.

The advertising industry is enjoying a steep climb too. One executive, who asked not to be identified, said 80% of the available airtime — including 40 minutes of prime time — had been snapped up by advertisers since Protective Edge was formally declared over.

“It feels like everyone was ready with campaigns and just waiting for news of a ceasefire. Everyone jumped in at once,” he said. “It’s the peak consumer season now and all the advertisers want to be on the air.”