Israeli hotels suffer after war

Israeli hotels have recorded 227,000 stays by overseas visitors in September, which is less than half the 474,800 recorded in September last year, the Central Bureau of Statistics told Dow Jones newswire. The Israeli tourism sector has suffered since July, when fighting broke out between Hezbollah fighters and Israel.

Even though the fighting ended in a ceasefire in mid-August, tourists have yet to return in high numbers.

Nevertheless, the number of foreigners’ hotel stays during the January to September period was 5.4 million, slightly higher than the 5.1 million recorded in corresponding nine-month period in 2005, the bureau said.

Before the conflict with Hezbollah, Israelis had forecast a significant increase in tourism for 2006 over the previous few years.