As I conclude my trip and time in Israel this past week, I wanted to provide you with a few updates on the current situation in Israel.
1. Israel is safe. Tourism has returned and most of the hotels are at 75-80% capacity this week. I’ve been told by two different hotel managers that during the recent Gaza conflict, it had dropped to 35-40% capacity. They believe it will return to the upper 90% by the end of the month and have seen more requests for groups returning for this October and November who had been hesitant to travel just a month ago.
2. I was at the Ben Gurion Airport to meet and welcome two of our groups. After meeting them and walking them to their buses where they meet up with their guides, I was amazed to see ten buses for groups and four mini-buses for the smaller groups continuing with their trip! To say that this was encouraging is an understatement.
3. Pastor Charles Stanley & Pastor Andy Stanley are here in Israel and half of their group is staying at our hotel, so we have personally seen them. They have a total of 16 buses of tourist plus their own VIP bus for a total of 17 buses.
4. If you’re wondering whether tourism has returned back to normal, the answer is “YES!” Tourism is coming back after a two-month slow down due to the recent Gaza conflict.
5. All of our tours are continuing as planned for this fall 2014 and spring 2015.
We look forward to welcoming your group to Israel and we believe the worst is behind us at this time. The photo above, taken on the Mt. of Olives, is of one of the groups I’ve been with in Israel this week.