NEW YORK – Yet another strong start to the year for Israel as the destination continues to break all previous tourism records, with a total of 683,000 visitors in January and February, an increase of 16% compared to same period last year. New hotel openings in Israel’s major cities as well as new flight options from the U.S. will help continue the unprecedented momentum in tourism to Israel.
Brown Hotels – Brown Hotels continues to expand on their Tel Aviv portfolio with three new hotel openings in spring and summer of 2019. The 33-room Dave Levinsky, scheduled to open in spring 2019, will feature chic and low-cost accommodations in the heart of Tel Aviv’s newest culinary and nightlife hubs, the Levinsky Market neighborhood, while the 34-room Theodore offers a modern take on Bauhaus architecture transmitting an upscale and sophisticated feel. In addition, Brown will open The Menorah, its largest flagship with 200 rooms located near Rothschild Boulevard.
Spot Hostel – Stylish pod rooms are coming to Tel Aviv Port with the opening of Spot Hostel in April 2019, the first pod hostel to open in Israel. Joining the capsule hotel trend taking over major cities across the world, the hostel boasts affordably priced and well-designed accommodations for single travelers, couples, small groups and even young families.
Kedem Hotel – The Shitit Group’s newest nature-friendly hotel, the 61-room Kedem Hotel, is opening in May 2019 on the slopes of the Carmel Forest. Integrated into the surrounding environment, the hotel puts an emphasis on providing a “home for body and soul.” Open to guests 18 and older, the hotel has a strict no-cell phone policy to further cater to an intimate and health-focused clientele.
Kibbutz Ramat Rachel – As Jerusalem’s only Kibbutz hotel, the Ramat Rachel Hotel recently made significant upgrades, additions and renovations, spending $35 million to makeover its 165-hotel rooms, open a new sports center, pool and baby pool. Built in 1926 and located at the southern tip of Jerusalem, the hotel offers stunning views overlooking the Judean Hills.
Ibis Styles Hotel – The newly-opened 104-room Ibis Styles hotel offers a welcoming and modern option on the Ben Yehuda Promenade in the heart of Jerusalem’s city center. Adding five floors to the original four-floor building, this hotel is the second in the Ibis collection by Accor and its convenient location offers easy access to the Old City and Zion Square.
Transportation & Infrastructure News:
El Al nonstop flights from Chicago – El Al announced a new direct flight route between Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport beginning in March 2020. Chicago is the first city in the Central United States with nonstop service to Tel Aviv. Tickets for the new route go on sale on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 and flights will depart weekly on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Jerusalem’s Old City develops accessibility – Jerusalem’s Old City is the most visited site in Israel, with about 10 million visitors each year. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Old City and its walls are subject to special preservation regulations. Making this beloved part of Jerusalem accessible to the mobility impaired has been a priority for many and the work done, within the UNESCO guidelines, was the innovative and groundbreaking project that enables those with mobility impairments to enjoy the historic and cultural wealth of the city. Among other things, four kilometers of streets in the Muslim, Armenian and Christian quarters were adjusted and approximately two kilometers of handrails were installed alongside staircases to aid mobility. Part of the New Gate compound project, these important changes are just one step of a multi-year plan for development of the Old City.