Israeli hotels take financial hit from unrest
Revenue generated by Israel's hotels has plunged since deadly Israeli-Palestinian violence erupted in the region in late September, according to official statistics published on Sunday, March 18.
During the height of the Palestinian revolt between October and December 2000, Israel's hotel industry took in 1.08 billion shekels ($250 million), a 27- percent slump from the same period in 1999.
"This is definitely because of the security situation," a tourism ministry official told AFP. The preceding nine months had seen a significant growth in revenue with hotels taking in 4.38 billion shekels ($1.09 billion), a 21- percent increase over the same period the previous year.
The hotel industry has been particularly hard hit by a precipitous dip in tourism since the intifada, or Palestinian uprising, exploded in the region following a visit by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to a disputed holy site in east Jerusalem in late September.
Tourism is traditionally a lucrative sector in Israel's economy. Almost 440 people have lost their lives during the nearly six months of unrest sweeping the region, most of them Palestinians.
Employment in Israeli hotels had also slipped to 25,700 at the end of 2000 compared with 30,800 employees during the first nine months before the unrest erupted. — (AFP, Jerusalem)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)