Bahai News - Only hotels in Haifa and the Dead Sea did better in 2001 than in previous year Saturday, February 09, 2002 Shvat 27, 5762 Israel Time: 06:37 (GMT+2)

Only hotels in Haifa and the Dead Sea did better in 2001 than in previous year

By Avi Shmoul and Irit Rosenblum

Hotels in Haifa and at the Dead Sea are the only ones in the country where more tourists stayed in 2001 than in 2000. The number of overnight stays at the Dead Sea resorts went up 7 percent and in Haifa 2 percent last year, while the national average fell 23 percent, the Hotels Association said yesterday.

The national annual average occupancy rate was 43 percent, compared to 59.8 percent in 2000 and 61.6 percent in 1999.

In 2001 Haifa registered 396,000 overnight stays, 121,000 by incoming tourists and 275,000 by Israelis. One of the main contributing factors to Haifa's relatively good tourism situation was the opening of the Bahai gardens last year. Between June 2001 and January 2002, more than 164,000 visitors toured the gardens in some 3,900 organized groups.

In 2002, NIS 2 million will be invested in bringing tourists to Haifa - the same amount as in 2001.

In 2001, 16 restaurants opened in the city's German Colony neighborhood. The Haifa tourist association estimates that each visitor spends about NIS 100 when in town.

The number of nights spent by foreign tourists in Nazareth fell by 95 percent, in Tiberias 81 percent, in Jerusalem 70 percent, in the kibbutzim 60 percent and in Tel Aviv 47 percent.

In 2001 Israelis spent 30 percent more nights in Tel Aviv than in 2000, at the Dead Sea 28 percent, in Haifa 26 percent, in Eilat 15 percent, in the kibbutzim and Jerusalem 11 percent, in Tiberias 4 percent, in Herzliya 3 percent and in Netanya 2 percent. The only place to record a drop in domestic tourism was Nazareth, with an 82 percent tumble.

Last year, the Dead Sea hotels had a 63.4 percent occupancy rate, and hotels in Eilat had 60 percent, while Nazareth had 3.6 percent.

©Copyright 2002, Ha`aretz

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