Israeli lawmakers say the country’s month-long war in Gaza may end up costing the economy around $3 billion. It is still hard to say what the long term effects might be. But at least one sector, tourism is already feeling the pinch.
The lure of sunshine and the Mediterranean waters during the summer time in Tel Aviv draws in thousands of tourists annually from around the world.
July and August are typically the busiest months. But not this year, said the drivers who normally shuttle tourists around. During the summer months, a hotel room in Tel Aviv goes for around $300-400 a night. In July, as the fighting in Gaza erupted and the rocket fire towards Israel increased, the occupancy suddenly dropped.
Israel’s central bank has lowered interest rates to try to offset some of the burden, particularly on the country’s small business owners. But despite the perceived threat, there has been one group of tourists who’ve actually come in larger numbers. French Jews who were escaping, they say, violent anti-Israel protests back home.
CCTV America’s Roee Ruttenberg reports from Tel Aviv.