Below is a video report on the current unrest and tourism published on October 15, 2015 by SarEl Tours, one of the largest ground agencies in Israel.
Here’s the latest from the Israel Ministry of Tourism.
What’s happening where?
For some days rockets have been fired from the Palestinians’ Gaza Strip into southern Israel. A majority of the rockets have been brought down by Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system, but some have landed in towns and cities in a quite large area.
Is this where I’m going?
Probably not. Most of the areas the rockets have reached are off the usual tourist routes, but a few have been aimed towards Tel Aviv. Most of the rockets launched towards Tel Aviv were deflected by the Iron Dome. No tourists have been involved in any incidents.
How does all this affect my travel plans?
It probably doesn’t. Conditions in most of Israel are normal – with children going to school, people shopping, going to restaurants, going to the beach, and sightseeing.
Yes, but are people still going?
There are currently more than 100,000 tourists vacationing in Israel and there are no signs whatsoever that visitors are cutting their trips short. Individuals and groups continue to depart the U.S. and Canada for Israel without interruption.
If you’re taking an organized tour, and should it be necessary, your tour operator will adjust your itinerary. If you’re traveling independently, hotels and tour guides are equipped to assist you and to suggest what you should and should not do, and where you should or should not go. In addition to our www.goisrael.com, the website of the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv israel.usembassy.gov gives up-to-date information for the benefit of Americans visiting our country
As hard as it may seem to comprehend from thousands of miles away, the current situation has little effect on life in most of Israel. 2012 has already broken the record as the best-ever year for tourism to Israel, with more international travelers visiting Israel than ever before. More than 80 airlines are operating their normal schedules to and from Israel, and today, as every day, close to 20 flights are operating nonstop between the United States and Canada and Israel, and vice versa.
Are you sure?
Tourists and tourism are very important to the State of Israel. If we felt it was inappropriate for you to come now, we would ask you not to.
If you’re already in Israel you are in good hands and know there’s nothing to be overly concerned about. And if you’re on your way: “Bon Voyage.” We look forward to greeting you.
UPDATED November 19, 2012
The current conflict between Israel and Gaza has negatively affected tourism in the Holy Land, but perhaps not as much as one might expect. Generally speaking, the conflict is isolated away from most tourist areas. However, the rockets into Tel Aviv and near Jerusalem do change the dynamic a bit.
Ha’aretz, one of Israel’s major daily newspapers has a nice article about the effect of the conflict on tourism.
Below are a few interesting paragraphs from the article (emphasis added), the rest of which can be read at the link above.
As fighting in the Gaza Strip entered its fifth day and Palestinian rockets landed deeper into Israel, travelers who had hoped to visit the Holy Land are starting to think twice.
But travel industry executives say there has not yet been a mass wave of cancellation.
A number of hotels in Israel, along with flagship airline El Al, have already seen some cancelations and believe the number will grow if the violence heads into a second week.
“There are minimal cancelations at this moment, but obviously it is an evolving situation,” said a source in the Tourism Ministry, which has yet to offer official statistics.
Israel is a world leader in water technology, and the water is generally safe to drink.
While in the hotels it is usually okay to drink the filtered water that is served at meals. Also, it is generally safe to brush your teeth with the water in the hotel rooms. However, the safest course of action is to drink bottled water because your stomach may not be ready for microbes that are common for Israelis. (Likewise, Israelis may not be ready for microbes you have become accustomed to in the United States.)
We definitely recommend drinking only bottled water (i.e. no drinking fountains) while out touring. This will help ensure that you don’t need to stay behind for a day or more due to an upset stomach. Bottled water is available on your bus for a reasonable price. This makes it easy to get a few bottles for use in the hotel when you arrive for the evening, and then to refresh yourself throughout the day as needed.
The cost of bottled water is not included in the tour price and is the responsibility of the user. Each person may react differently to the various water sources available in Israel and is solely responsible for their decision to use or not use bottled water.
If you are on an extension to Egypt or Jordan, we suggest you use only bottled water for drinking and brushing your teeth in those countries.