JERUSALEM—According to the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, Israel saw a record number of tourists in the first half of 2018, injecting more than $3.3 billion into the Israeli economy.
According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, from January to June 2018 about 2.1 million tourist entries were recorded—an increase of 19% over the same period in 2017 (1.74 million) and 26% more than in 2016.
The United States remains the largest source country for incoming tourists, with 470,200 tourist entries in 2018, 17% more than 2017. More Canadians than ever are also traveling to Israel with a 14% visitor increase in 2018 compared to 2017.
Additionally, several new hotels and hotel expansions have opened recently or will open soon:
- The Drisco: After a $35-million investment and more than a decade of intensive work led by architect and interior designer Ari Shaltiel, The Drisco officially opened for reservations in June. The 42-room hotel, located in Tel Aviv, is close to the beaches, Rothschild Blvd.,the neighborhood of Neve Tzedek, Jaffa’s flea market and Old Jaffa.
- The Dave South: Brown Hotels is opening this hotel in September 2018 in the Nahalat Binyamin area in the heart of Tel Aviv. The property joins The Dave West, the inaugural property that opened earlier this year in Brown Hotels’ new brand of low cost, youthful boutique hotels in Tel Aviv, designed for fun-loving urbanites.
- The Lighthouse Hotel: Another new property by Brown Hotels, it is located a block away from the Tel Aviv beaches. The 103-room hotel has a wellness center, a private and corporate event complex, rooftop garden and a rooftop bar. Two outdoor swimming pools will be added by the summer of 2020.
- The Link Hotel & Hub: Dan Hotels opened a new business property in the center of Tel Aviv. At an investment of more than $11 million, this new hotel is aimed at the new generation of business travelers and tourists, offering a concept of “connecting” contemporary design, Tel Aviv’s vibrant social scene, street art and advanced technology, according to the company. To help arriving guests get quickly to their rooms with a minimum of fuss, The Link has eliminated many procedures typical of traditional hotels: no cash transactions, no reception desk, no bellboys and no concierge. The multi-tasking 24/7 Service Crew operates on an “everyone does everything” basis. Located on Shaul Ha’melech Blvd., the accommodations are close to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Opera House, Cameri Theatre, Rabin Square and the Sarona Market.
- The Setai, Sea of Galilee: One of two properties within The Setai Hotels brand portfolio in Israel, it will add 47 new standalone Kinneret Villas to its existing inventory, each featuring a private garden and an infinity pool, this month. Having officially opened in June 2017 with 110 villas and suites, The Setai Sea of Galilee is a pastoral spa resort situated on the eastern shore of the historic Sea of Galilee.