Tel Aviv…The COVID-19 vaccine was supposed to be the messiah, at least for Israel’s struggling hotels. There was every hope that this Passover 2021 would not be a repeat of last year when tourism was non-existent in Israel during Passover. With a new lockdown and the effects of the vaccine not expected to be felt for months, Israel hoteliers worry that this year’s Passover season will be a loss as well. They say that with only 10 weeks to go, they see little hope of a revival, especially as hotels in Dubai and other luxury destinations have already been booked by clients who normally spend Passover in Israel. Unlike 2020, flights are available despite many Covid restrictions. For now, the hotels hope to borrow a page from previous crisis years by severely discounting Passover programs for Israelis. They are still hoping that the Israeli market will open up due to the large percentage of the population that will have been vaccinated by then. Some hotels have already begun their marketing to Israelis.
According to Raphi Bloom of TotallyJewishTravel.com, only 25% of the usual Passover programs are advertising but surprisingly interest has been very high. In addition to the 3 hotels in Dubai, interest has been extremely high in such destinations as Florida, Cancun, Mexico, and Morocco.