Orit Farkash Hacohen
Orit Farkash Hacohen Hadas Parush/Flash90

In September, the number of tourists entering Israel continued to fall, with 15,100 tourist entries recorded. This represents a decrease of 96% on September 2019. During the period January-September, 783,000 tourist entries were recorded, 76% down on the 3.295 million tourists in the same period last year. The significant decrease reflects a cumulative loss of revenue to the economy in the period January-September of NIS12.1 billion (about $3.6 billion).

Israel Minister of Tourism Orit Farkash Hacohen: “This week, the appointment of the Tourism Minister was approved in the government. Tourism is an important economic industry, of the utmost significance for the Israeli economy and one of the main victims of the corona crisis. Tourism is not just nice to have, not at all. Opening the industry would be part of the solution to the unemployment problem, the emotional stress, the economy and the crisis."

"As I begin my term as Tourism Minister, the incoming tourism statistics are very bad. One of my first steps in the position was to reach an agreement with the Health Minister on presenting an exit strategy outline for the industry. The possibility is being examined that the outline will include 'green islands' that will facilitate isolating tourist cities at both their entrance and exit and create an area that allows for a healthy and economic vacation. I have come to work, without any days of grace, we will do whatever we can to ensure a speedy, efficient and quality return within the confines of the virus that has entered our lives. In the outline, we will also emphasize the importance of opening zimmerim, because, in our opinion, it is healthier for a family to drive to a zimmer than to visit grandparents – for their health and emotional well-being.”

See below graph showing incoming tourism for September 2012 – date (in thousands)