There has been a decline in Chinese tourists to Israel at the beginning of this year partly because of safety concerns. The Chinese government issued a travel warning last December following President Donald Trump’s announcement that the U.S. would relocate their Israeli embassy to Jerusalem. Palestinians and some Israelis protested the move, which led to violent clashes around the time of the move.
In the first eight months of the year, Israel welcomed a total of 65,500 tourists from China, which was still more than in all of 2015 but down 8 percent from the same period in 2017. February and April were the only other months this year that saw an increase in tourist arrivals from China.
Similarly, in 2015, Ynetnews reported that “Tourists have stopped coming to Israel“ and the crisis is only getting worse with a 28% drop in tourists’ hotel stays in the first quarter of 2015. According to estimates, the industry has already lost hundreds of millions of dollars. Similarly, another report by Globes confessed that there is no end in sight to the tourism crisis created by Operation Protective Edge.
On the other hand, a great deal of effort is expended to absorb more tourists from China. Sichuan Airlines opened direct flights between Chengdu and Tel Aviv last Wednesday. It joins El Al and Hainan Airlines in providing direct routes from China. However, security issues are not easily settled by these efforts.