Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Israeli Tourist Discovers Jerusalem

Omri Gaster

In recent years the Municipality of Jerusalem and the Jerusalem Development Authority have put much effort into transforming Jerusalem into an attractive tourist destination for foreign and Israeli tourists through, among other ways, a wide variety of festivals and cultural events. Do such efforts bear fruit? The answer to this question is customarily based on the number of overnight hotel stays. When it comes to the Israeli tourist, the outcome appears to be affirmative in all respects. 

The attached graph shows the change that took place in the number of overnight hotel stays of Israeli tourists in Jerusalem by month for the years 2008, 2010, and 2012. It appears that the peak months for internal tourism are July-August, with August having the highest number of overnight hotel stays by Israelis for each of the three years. 

Between 2008 and 2012 there was a 97% increase in the number of overnight stays of Israelis during the month of August: in 2008 this figure was 70,000 and in 2012 it reached 138,000.

Additional months during which an increase in the number of overnight stays is apparent are November and December. Between the years 2008 and 2012 there was a 44% increase in the number of overnight stays by Israelis during December: in 2008 the number of Israeli overnight stays was about 51,000 and in 2012 this figure was 74,000 overnight stays.