From January to July 2019, 14.66 million overnight stays of foreign tourists and vacationing Israelis were recorded in Israel, slightly more than during the same period in 2018 (14.27 million).

Israelis generally stay in hotels during specific periods – the most popular times for locals to vacation in the country being the summer months of July and August, while foreigners tend to visit mostly during October and November or in the months of March, April and May. Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics recently published data for the month of July, and it is interesting to note that there was an increase in numbers for this month, as compared with July 2018, both with respect to the number of foreign tourists’ overnight stays (872,000 as opposed to 801,000 last year) and also with respect to Israelis’ overnight stays (1.67 million as opposed to 1.55 million in 2018).

In the months prior to July, the situation was typically different, with an increase in foreign tourism accompanied by a decrease in domestic tourism, and the opposite. For example, in March there was a rise (as compared with 2018) in the number of overnight stays by foreign tourists, and a decline in the same among local tourists, while in April the trend was reversed, and during the other months of the year there was little difference between the 2018 numbers and those for 2019.

While the trends for domestic and foreign tourists’ overnight stays in Jerusalem are similar to those in Israel as a whole, the numbers are reversed: Although July 2019 was the month with the most overnight stays of Israelis in Jerusalem for the year so far, just 111,000 stays were recorded (a seven percent increase in contrast to 2018) as compared with 295,000 stays of foreign tourists.

Translated by Gilah Kahn-Hoffmann