Israel’s Booming Tourism Poses Potential for Higher Legal Risks
Israel is a tourist hotspot. Tourists from five major countries helped Israel see more tourists in 2017 than even before: France, Germany, Russia, United Kingdom and United States. The country’s holy sites and sandy beaches attracted 3.6 million tourists.
There were 25% more tourists last year than in 2016.
Part of Israel’s popularity boom can be directly attributed to the Tourism Ministry. The ministry, under the guidance of Yariv Levin, has taken up a number of actions to accelerate tourism in the country.
The tourism boom is great for the local economy.
Around 200,000 Israelis work in the tourism industry.
During the first half of the year, the average tourist spent $1,600 during their stay. An addition of planes allowed for nearly 50 weekly flights in the resort city of Eilat, which helped add to the tourism boost.
Levin also expects to launch social media campaigns in key countries, including China. The campaigns will be geared towards social media influencers to help promote further tourism in the country.
But the rise in tourism also leads to higher legal risks.
The rise in injuries is sure to follow a rise in tourism in the country. “Maybe you slipped and fell on a wet floor and there was no sign to warn you. Dim lighting may have prevented you from seeing an obstacle on the floor, causing you to trip unexpectedly,” states George T. Bochanis Law Offices, a firm specializing in hotel injuries.
Hotels will need to be more diligent than ever to ensure that tourists are safe during their stay.
The increase in tourists leads to a myriad of problems, such as hotels needing to react quicker to potential hazards, a higher number of hazards occurring and a higher number of overall complaints being lodged.
Tourism stretches well beyond the confines of a hotel, too.
An interesting case out of Washington questions whether a rental company is liable for a tourist that suffer from an injury while inner-tubing. The student was inner-tubing on the Yakima River and collided with a log that fell in the river near the launch site.
The tubing rental company, in this specific case, was found not guilty because they warned the renter of the potential risk before launch. There was an inherent peril assumption of risk in this case, but that doesn’t mean a similar case with slightly different circumstances couldn’t harm a local business in Israel.
Rising tourism will need to be met with new laws and enforcement to ensure that tourists and locals are safe.
Car accidents are a major concern, as can be seen in Iceland. The country is experiencing a boom in tourism, and in 2015, it was evident that this tourism boom has also led to a rise in car accidents.
The largest increase in accidents were experienced during the harsher months between September and May. Road conditions are a major concern for tourists.
Israel’s flash floods are a point of note in desert regions. Tourists that don’t understand the risks and concerns of flash floods in the area are at a higher risk of injury, being trapped or even dying.
Initiatives must be put forth by the government to ensure that tourists are educated about local landscapes and driving conditions to lower risks of injuries and lawsuits.