Page content

Back to list

Israel's tourism minister promotes travel to and in Israel

Aerial view of the city of Tel Aviv-Jaffa

Israel plans to quickly increase its traveller numbers again

Israel’s Tourism Minister Haim Katz has appealed for travellers to visit Israel again. Travellers were safe in the country, he said in front of the press on Tuesday at ITB Berlin. He would be urging the German government to drop the travel warnings for Israel issued by the German Foreign Office.

As proof of the country’s safety, the minister said that the 150,000 residents of the area bordering the Gaza Strip, which had been evacuated after the terrorist attacks by Hamas on 7 October 2023, had been accommodated in hotels for tourists. “That is not something we would have done if the hotels had not been safe.” In the meantime around 80 per cent of the residents had been able to return home.

Germany, Austria and Switzerland are among the leading countries for tourism to Israel. According to Ksenia Kobiakov, director of Israel’s government office for tourism, 402,000 visited in 2019. In 2022, after the pandemic, the figure was 207,500, and by 7 October 2023 it was 213,302. After that, tourism came to an abrupt halt. All in all, 13,000 tourists arrived in Israel daily before the pandemic. On 8 October 2023 they still numbered 23. In the meantime the numbers fluctuated at around 2,700 to 3,400, she said. “For the time being we are not counting on 13,000, but perhaps nine to ten thousand visitors“, was Kobiakov’s hope.