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Tourism Ministry: Coronavirus shutdown cost industry NIS12.1 billion

September alone witnessed a 96-percent year-on-year decrease from 2019’s bumper 405,000 total

October 14, 2020

The economic impact of the coronavirus lockdown became clearer Wednesday as Israel’s Tourism Ministry released devastating figures for the tourism industry.

The ministry estimated the industry had lost NIS 12.1 billion (US$3.6 billion) since the start of 2020 due to COVID-19 health regulations that have not only kept overseas visitors out of the country but have closed popular tourism sites for Israelis.

A UN estimate earlier in the year suggested that the coroanvirus pandemic had caused $320 billion worth of damage to the global tourist economy between January and May.

The news is especially hard for tour guides, hoteliers, national parks and others as 2019 was a record year for tourism – in which 4.5 million tourists visited the country – which in turn exceeded the previous high watermark of more than 4 million in 2018.

Full Story

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