Mideast Report

JERUSALEM (JPS) — Israeli tourism continued to fall during August, with a 6 percent decrease in the number of visitors compared to the same period a year ago, the Tourism Ministry announced on Monday.

Hotel Association economic adviser Pnina Ben-David said the situation is worse than the ministry's statistics reveal.

Based on hotel stays by foreign tourists, the association said that in the first eight months of the year, tourism dropped by 8 to 9 percent, compared to the previous year. Ben-David added that when compared to 1995, a better year than 1996, this year's figures are down 11 percent.

Ben-David said the situation was especially bad in Jerusalem, where from January through September there were 20 percent fewer tourists in hotels compared to the same period in 1995.

According to the ministry, a total of 202,300 foreign visitors entered the country during August, including 124,600 air passengers.