The Hotel Industry in Israel: Summary of 2020

In 2020, there was a decrease of 82% in tourist overnight stays compared to 2019, a decrease of 64% in total hotel stays and room occupancy of only 25% compared to almost 70% in the past year


The hotel industry in Israel last year recorded a negative record in overnight stays and occupancy in hotels. Data from the Hotel Association show that the industry recorded an 82% decrease in tourist overnight stays compared to 2019, a 64% decrease in total hotel stays and room occupancy of only 25% compared to almost 70% in the past year.

These dismal figures summarizing the year 2020 indicate more than anything the critical condition of the hotel industry in Israel. This negative trend will continue into 2021, against the background of the third closure, which completely closed the hotels in the country and the uncertainty regarding the future.

These figures become extreme in their severity against the background of the fact that 2019 was a record year for inbound tourism and hotel occupancy and occupancy with about 25.8 million person-nights (about 47% tourist overnight stays and about 53% Israeli overnight stays) and an average room occupancy of about 70%. The expectation was that 2020 would break more records.

The hotel industry is a industry that is sensitive to volatility due to geopolitical events and as such has already seen very difficult years mainly due to wars and geopolitical crises. Never, however, has it come so close to being completely wiped out, as in the current crisis. Just for comparison, the most severe crisis that befell the industry up to the Corona crisis was in the wake of the second intifada, which culminated in 2002, which recorded about 14.6 million hotel nights and room occupancy of only about 40%.

As can be seen from the summary of the year 2020 – the crisis of this year surpassed all its predecessors and also the year 2002 which was as stated so far the most difficult year in its history.

The following is the data: Year 2020 –

The total number of overnight stays in hotels was about9.2 million – Decrease of 64% Compared to 2019.

Tourist person-nights amounted to approx.2.2 Million – decrease of 82% Compared to 2019

Israelis’ overnight stays amounted to about7 Million – decrease of 49% Compared to 2019 ..

Room occupancy of all hotels Amounted to25% Only compared to 69.5% In 2019 – a decrease of 64%

The national occupancy in the 10 months since the crisis began (March-December 2020) was aboutOnly 18%!).

Hotels along the shores of Tel Aviv. Photo by Uzi Bachar

In inbound tourist areas the annual room occupancy was even lower than average :

In Tel Aviv – annual occupancy of 20% compared to 76% in 2019 – a decrease of 74%

In Jerusalem: occupancy of 19% compared to 71% – a decrease of 73%

In Nazareth: occupancy of 14% compared to 72% – a decrease of 81%

In Netanya: occupancy of 20% compared to 64% – decrease of 66%

In Tiberias: occupancy of 22% compared to 68% – a decrease of 67%

In Haifa: occupancy of 20% compared to 64% – decrease of 70%

Also in the tourist islands: Eilat and the Dead Sea there were sharp declines in annual catches:

In the Dead Sea: Occupancy of 28% compared to 70% in 2019 – a decrease of 60%

And in Eilat: occupancy of 38% compared to 73% – a decrease of 49%

The Hotels Association responded: “In light of the data proving the human damage to the hotel industry, there is a critical need for a multi-year program to rehabilitate tourism in Israel. The danger to the tourism infrastructure is clear and steps should be planned for the day after in favor of encouraging domestic and foreign tourism. In addition, action must be taken to rehabilitate the industry in the immediate term, by opening it to the Israeli public immediately after leaving the quarantine. ”

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Source: IAS by

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