If you have not yet made a reservation for Sukkos, and you want to do so in Israel, there are still quite a few offers available at hotels nationwide. Hotels that are not yet fully booked are offering deals, such as the third night for free or at a discount. Nonetheless, a family of four will still pay NIS 6,000 for 3-4 nights at a hotel.
A review of eight hotels found that, in most cases, a reservation through a travel agency (including specialized websites) is cheaper than making a reservation directly at the hotel (through the hotel’s website). However, customer club members who make reservations via the hotel website earn substantial discounts (including reductions on the membership fee).
On one hand, it seems that hotels are “desperate” to make deals because of the drop in incoming tourism and the strength of the shekel against the dollar, and are offering especially good deals for customer club members (including new members). On the other hand, travel agencies which have unsold packages are no less desperate.
Bottom line, it is recommended to examine both channels for reservations, and do not hesitate to bargain over the price. An empty hotel room profits no-one.
“The holiday and the school vacation created expectations of high occupancy rates at Israeli hotels, but it seems that Israelis prefer spending the holiday eve at home, and the hotel occupancy rate is not high, at an estimated 70%,” says Eshet Tours manager Galit Zakkai, “The large number of discounts that hotels have been offering in the past week make vacations at the height of the tourist season relatively cheap.”
Walla Tours CEO Ariel Atias says, “Demand this year is even higher, because talk of a possible attack on Syria caused some wholesalers offering package tours overseas to cancel or reduce flights. This resulted in a shortage of package tours to foreign destinations compared with demand. Eilat is still an available alternative, so I expect that it will be full over the first and second Sukkot holidays. Demand will naturally keep prices high.”
What has happened to prices compared with last year? Ophir Tours VP Yehuda Zafrani believes that prices are similar to last year. “Hotels in Israel have not raised prices, in view of lower than usual incoming tourism during this time of the year. The security situation in Syria has caused a slowdown in incoming tourism. As a result, hoteliers are focusing on Israeli consumers and are offering better prices. Prices this year are similar, and, in some cases, even lower than last year, which is good news because prices usually rise during the peak season,” he says.
Read more at GLOBES.