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update deskIsrael at War

War against Hamas hampers post-COVID tourism recovery

3.2 million foreign visitors entered the country in 2023, compared to 4.6 million in 2019, the year prior to the pandemic lockdowns.

Check-in at Ben-Gurion Airport, July 7, 2022. Photo by Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90.
Check-in at Ben-Gurion Airport, July 7, 2022. Photo by Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90.

Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics reported that 3.2 million foreign visitors entered the country in 2023. This was more than the 2.9 million in 2022, but still a great deal less than the 4.6 million in 2019, the year prior to the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns.

The lower figure was largely caused by the war that began with the Hamas massacre of Oct. 7. Statistics showed that the numbers of foreign visitors had almost reached the 2019 levels as of Oct. 6, but plummeted after that.

To date, the vast majority of foreign airlines have not restarted flights to Israel that were canceled after the conflict began.

Israel saw virtually no foreign tourism over the Christmas holiday.

In December, only 53,300 arrivals were recorded in Israel, 35.3% of which were visitors from the United States.

The CBS also reported that 9.05 million Israelis traveled abroad in 2023, more than the 8.43 million in 2022.

Of the 2023 departures, 8.02 million were by air and 877,100 were by land.

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