Friday, September 15, 2017

On and off the beaten track

Yair Assaf-Shapira

The summer holidays are over, the kids have returned to school, and the high holy days are upon us. Anyone who did not vacation this summer might want to do so now.

According to the 2016 Social Survey of the Central Bureau of Statistics, about two-thirds (67%) of persons aged 20+ in Israel, or 3.6 million people, went on vacation either abroad or within Israel during the past 12 months. Twenty-four percent reported that only holidayed in Israel, 12% traveled abroad, and 31% reported that they took vacations both in Israel and abroad.

Jerusalem residents vacation less than the average Israeli. Among Jerusalem residents, 40% went on vacation in Israel, compared with 55% among all residents of Israel. Among Jerusalemites, 30% went abroad, compared with 43% of Israeli residents. Presumably these figures stem from the low socio-economic status (on average) of the city's residents, but they might also reflect a cultural aspect of the city's population, a large portion of whom cannot afford or do not wish to vacation.

The difference between the percentage of Jewish vacationers in Jerusalem and the proportion among Jews in Israel (39% versus 46% for vacationing abroad, and 54%, compared with 60% within Israel) is smaller than the difference for the Arab population of Jerusalem relative to that of Israel (9% compared with 25% abroad and 10% compared with 27% in Israel).

Contrary to expectations, among the three main Jewish population groups of Jerusalem, the percentage of vacationers is evidently identical to or higher than the figure for Israel in general. In the secular and loosely observant population, 59% went on vacation abroad, compared with 55% among the same group in Israel in general. As for vacationing in Israel, the percentages were identical, at 64%.

Among Israel’s religious population, 41% of Jerusalemites vacationed abroad, compared with 32% for Israel in general. A comparable difference between Jerusalem and Israel was recorded for religious people vacationing within Israel (64% vs. 58%).
Among the Haredi population of Jerusalem, 17% vacationed abroad, and the same percentage was recorded for Haredim in Israel. As for Haredim vacationing in Israel, the trend was opposite to the other Jewish population groups, with 38% of Haredi Jerusalemites vacationing, compared with a higher percentage (50%) for Haredim in Israel in general.

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