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Conflict with Hamas takes toll on Israel’s tourism sector

While outbound flights from Israel are full, incoming flights are comparatively empty as many would-be tourists cancel their travel plans to Israel in response to the current escalation of violence between Hamas and Israel.

“The trends are very clear, and if necessary we’ll cope,” said the president of the Israel Hotels Association, Eli Gonen, according to Israel Hayom. “If [the fighting] ends quickly it will be one thing, but if the confrontation continues, we’ll have to wait.”

Since Israel launched Operation Protective Edge last week, Israeli hotels have noted a sharp decline in occupancy.

Rafi Sadeh, general director of the Dan Hotels chain, said Sunday that most of the cancellations were for the near future, and for individual tourists rather than groups.

“We are accommodating guests who want to cancel their vacations because of the situation, and not charging cancellation fees,” Sadeh said.

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