Since the spread of COVID-19 in Israel and subsequent lockdowns, the country has lost billions of shekels in revenue with harsh restrictions placed on tourists wishing to enter the Jewish State. 2022, however, saw a dramatic rebound as 2.675 million tourists entered Israel compared to just 397,000 arrivals in 2021 and 831,000 in 2020.
The skies over Israel were officially re-opened to the entry of tourists only in March of 2022 and all restrictions were lifted only about three months later in May.
Revenue from the tourism industry in 2022 was still about 41% lower than the record posted in 2019, with an estimated NIS 13.5 billion compared to an impressive NIS 23 billion before the virus exploded across the world stage.
The Ministry of Tourism points out that several factors must be taken into account when considering the relatively slow rate of recovery over the past year: the fact that Israel re-opened its doors later than similar destinations in the Middle East and Europe, coupled with this lapse in time having a stronger effect on tourists planning their trips ahead of the flight date.
As a result, Israel's rate of recovery from the crisis is slightly lower than the global average, which stands at about 36% compared to 2019.