Israeli Tourism Rebounds in July, Still Well Below Pre-Covid Levels

An aerial view of salt formations at the Dead Sea, a perennial tourist attraction (Moshe Shai/FLASH90)

YERUSHALAYIM — (Reuters) – Israeli tourism continued to recover following the Covid-19 pandemic in July although it was 22.6% below its 2019 level, the Tourism Ministry said on Monday.

Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov said he expected the trend to continue this month despite the flare-up in violence on the Gaza frontier over the past few days.

Some 250,000 tourist entries were recorded last month, up from just 49,000 a year earlier when Israel’s borders were not fully open. In July 2019, a record year for tourism, the country attracted 323,000 visitors during the same period.

The ministry said that tourism was still down 56% in the January-July period from 2019 but that Israel was on pace for 2.2 million to 2.5 million tourists in 2022.

“The positive trend is continuing, and according to the information we have, this will continue through August,” Razvozov said in a statement.

“The events of the last few days related to the operation in Gaza are not expected to impact on the hundreds of thousands of tourists visiting Israel this month,” he said.

Tourism in 2019 hit a record high of 4.55 million visitors, contributing 23 billion shekels ($7 billion) to Israel’s economy.

($1 = 3.3036 shekels as of Monday)

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