UNWTO’s Tourism 2020 Vision forecasts that globally, international arrivals are expected to reach nearly 1.6 billion by the year 2020. This results in doubling the present number of world tourists (800 million) by the end of this decade. Of these worldwide arrivals in 2020, 1.2 billion will be intra-regional and 378 million will be long-haul travelers.
Total tourist arrivals by region by 2020 for Asia, the Middle East and Africa are forecasted to record growth at rates of over 5% per year, compared to the world average of 4.1%.
Long-haul travel worldwide will grow faster, at 5.4 % per year over the period 1995-2020, than intra-regional travel at 3.8 %.
The tourism industry is a major pillar of the Jerusalem 5800 plan, aiming to support and sync with other industries in the area and jointly develop the required infrastructure to facilitate Jerusalem as a ‘World City’.
Jerusalem has always been the focal point of tourism in the region. The city forms the center point of many holidays, whether as a destination in its own right or as a key part of cultural or religious tours.
With tourism to the region on the upswing, the scarcity of hotel space in Jerusalem is cited as the largest obstacle to serious expansion of the industry. The Ministry of Tourism together with the Jerusalem municipality have plans for the development of up to 7,000 additional hotel rooms in the city over the next five to seven years, in all target categories.