The Israel Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) reported that in January-February 2016 as opposed to the same period last year, there has been a 4% increase in tourist person-nights in hotels, an increase of 1.5% in Israeli person-nights in hotels and overall, an increase of 2.4%.
In response, Tourism Ministry Director-General Amir Halevi noted: "The increase of 4% in tourist person-nights since the beginning of the year testifies to the fact that tourism continues to grow alongside terror.
The world has already come to the understanding that routine must continue, as nowhere is safe and terror can strike in the capitals of Europe, in the cities of the United States and in the holiday resorts of the Far East - and now in major airports. At the Tourism Ministry, we are optimistic and choose to continually improve the tourism product in Israel and to increase our international marketing efforts because an atmosphere of doom and gloom will do nothing to encourage tourism. If there was a phenomenal increase in the numbers of Chinese participating in last week's Jerusalem Marathon (170 from 6 the previous year), then the figures speak for themselves."
At the same time, prices must drop and there must be an understanding that the world of tourism is changing. Today's tourist pays $100 for a low-cost airfare and is looking for innovation and variety in new products, and I hope that the hoteliers are prepared for this. Therefore, we find it difficult to understand talk about a 'crisis', given the 2015statistics that show the year ended without any damage to hotel turnover as compared to 2014, in which there was a natural decline of single percentage points in incoming tourism as a result of Operation Protective Edge and a large increase of Israeli person-nights.
The Tourism Minister Yariv Levin instructed an increase in marketing efforts and in recent months there has been a significant increase in incoming tourism from markets such as China and India, alongside a continuing improving trend from markets such as the UK and USA which registered growth on last year. "