Dr Mike Evans

Hotel construction is soaring in Israel despite pandemic

The Israel Real Estate Appraisers Association reports that, despite two years of pandemic, the construction of hotels across the nation is at a five-year high.

“The rise in building starts for hotels is in response to the historical shortage of hotel rooms in Israel, even though the average national hotel occupancy was just 38% in November 2021, down from 70% in November 2019,” Globes reported.

The building projects continue despite the drop in tourism during the pandemic. After a record 4.55 million tourists in 2019, according to the Ministry of Tourism, only 832,000 visited in 2020 after the country’s tourism was shut down in late March.

In some ways, the new hotel construction projects are building for the future. Though COVID-19 numbers remain high and restrictions continue to limit most tourism and travel, the days ahead should offer a nation much more prepared to received more visitors.

The levels of tourists in a post-pandemic Israel could soar to even greater heights with the recent efforts of the Abraham Accords. Signed in 2020, the nations that have normalized relations with Israel have yet to be able to take full advantage of new opportunities to travel to the nation without COVID-19 restrictions.

The report by Globes noted that most hotel stays in the last recorded month were occupied by domestic tourists rather than foreign travelers. The trend led to the highest current occupancy in warmest regions such as Eilat and the Dead Sea. International tourist hotspots like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem have struggled with lower-than-normal occupancy without the usual level of travelers.

The good news is that the future looks bright for the hospitality industry across Israel. The current construction seeks to develop properties for maximum potential and prepare the region for increased business in the days ahead.