Gulf Crisis Cutting into Tourism

The Persian Gulf crisis seems to have had a worse effect on Israeli tourism than the intifada, according to figures released Monday covering the first 11 months of this year.

After falling sharply during the first two years of the Palestinian uprising, tourism was running 8 percent ahead of 1989 figures until Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in August raised the danger of war in the region.

From August through November, tourist arrivals in Israel dropped 46 percent, compared with the same period of the previous year.

In September and October, the decline was 30 percent. In November, it was a stunning 58 percent.

Only 45,000 visitors arrived from abroad last month, compared with 108,500 tourists in November 1989.

Eilat, a resort town on the Red Sea, was especially hard hit. It registered about 1,000 arrivals on direct flights in November, compared to 16,000 in the same month a year earlier.

A total of 1,252,400 tourists came to Israel in the first 11 months of 1990, 3 percent fewer than in the same period of 1989.

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