Tourist Season in Danger as Fear Grips Yerushalayim

Tourism industry leaders are predicting a wave of cancellations of groups from abroad, especially pilgrims — who normally come to Yerushalayim in big numbers from October to December — due to mounting violence, including riots and deadly attacks, Yediot Aharonot reports.

The Israel Incoming Tour Operators Association’s office, and the offices of travel agencies dealing with tourism to Israel, have been flooded with inquiries from suppliers and agents abroad asking for clear answers on what they see in the media.

Shmuel Merom, chairman of the Israel Incoming Tour Operators Association, said this week that tourism to Israel has not yet recovered from last summer’s Operation Protective Edge, and has now been dealt a new blow.

“We are in a continuous war,” Merom said. “We have received many inquiries in the last three days, as well as requests for information from abroad.

“There are even groups of Israelis who canceled events in Yerushalayim. Unfortunately, I do not see any response or solution on the horizon, and the feeling is that there is not even the will to reach a solution.

“October is supposed to be an excellent month for tourism, relatively speaking, with many groups of pilgrims, which should continue into November and December. As it looks now, we are entering a period of uncertainty and expect a wave of cancellations in the coming days. It’s very frustrating, and it will cause the industry severe economic problems.”