London…A number of European travel agents serving a kosher clientele forecast a significant downturn in business this summer. In Israel and the US, the sentiment is pretty much the same that the recession will keep many kosher travelers home. They say that it will also effect kosher cruises. Although no one was willing to forecast just how much the kosher business would be down, they did say that they expect many people to wait until the last minute. Even so, they do not expect to reach last year’s sales. Sources say that the recession has also taken a toll on camping forcing many camps to fill empty beds with innovative programs. Three Orthodox camps run by UJA/Federation of New York are offering a $999 two week package. Many kosher vendors that serve the travel and camping industries expect a significant reduction in summer business. In Israel, there is mounting concern of a drastic reduction in the Sukkot business with some hotels already discounting rooms and offering free holiday meals. One agent who books tours to Eastern Europe says that his bookings are off by more than 50% but he is hopeful that business will pick up in June.
June 1, 2009