Coronavirus Devastating Israeli Hotel Sector

People wearing face masks for fear of the coronavirus at the Ben Gurion International Airport last week. (Flash90)

The coronavirus crisis is making its impact on a large number of businesses, especially those tourist-related – including hotels, where occupancy rates have fallen dramatically. With far fewer foreign tourists in Israel and Israelis preferring to remain at home, hotels have begun paring back on services, to the extent that several have closed down.

Over the weekend, Channel 20 reported, guests at the Isrotel Tower hotel were told that, due to a low occupancy rate, the hotel was closing down. Guests were given rooms at another Isrotel hotel, the Roya Beach. Transportation was provided to guests who did not have vehicles.

The Dan chain of hotels has already issued a warning to stockholders of lower revenue and possible losses. Bookings at the hotel are down 6.2% since the beginning of the year over the same period in 2019, due to cancellations caused by coronavirus fears. Even worse was the fate of hotels in the Fattal chain, where bookings are down 25% so far this year.

In a statement to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, the Dan chain said that “even though this is situation that is not under our control, circumstances surrounding the spread of coronavirus will affect the chain. As of now we cannot predict the influence of the crisis on the long-term situation. We continue to follow events, and we continue to examine the effects of the crisis on our activities,” the statement said.