Tel Aviv…Travel and tourism officials from Asaf Zamir, Israel’s Tourist Minister, on down are predicting a strong recovery for Israeli tourism despite the country’s torrid spike in Corona virus cases and the first reported repeat lockdown by a Westernized country. Israeli officials say that the robust tourism industry “will break out as soon as a semblance of safety returns to the country.” Apparently United Airlines also sees a bright future ahead with the launch of its newest three weekly nonstop Chicago to Tel Aviv route. In addition to Chicago, United currently operates nonstop service between Tel Aviv and its hubs in Newark/New York and San Francisco and will resume service between Washington and Tel Aviv on October 25th. The airline operates more nonstop service between the United States and Israel than any U.S. airline. While El Al is still in the throes of a deep financial crisis, the airline is expected to take on new ownership and to resume flying once the Covid-19 pandemic slackens off in Israel.
Israeli tourism officials are also expecting significant tourism from the Gulf states like the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain which are signing peace agreements with Israel this week. As more countries recognize Israel and even move their embassies to Jerusalem, Israel’s tourist industry is expected to be the beneficiary. Israeli hotels are holding their own despite the pandemic with the help of government subsidies and contracts to serve as quarantine locations.