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Strong Shekel Spurs Israelis To Vacation Abroad

Israel’s booming economy has made the shekel soar, local prices rise and travel fans compare what their money can buy and come to the conclusion – it’s time for a vacation abroad.

A few years ago, the average Israeli family might have gone abroad once a year. But with the European Union now allowing budget airlines to operate to and from Israel, and more money in people’s pockets, getting away has become much easier.

“Prices are 20 percent higher in Israel, that’s why people prefer to go abroad,” said Sana Lavi, deputy chief executive of the online travel site Daka 90. “We now see people are going abroad two or three times a year.”

Over the past 18 months, the shekel has gained 8% against the dollar and more against the euro and pound.

“There are too many reasons for an Israeli to go abroad,” said Nahum Kara, vice president of marketing and sales at Isrotel, Israel’s leading luxury hotel chain. “You don’t need to be an economist to come to that conclusion.”

Government figures show there were 6.8 million departures by Israelis going overseas last year, up 15 percent on 2015. Since 2012, the number has risen 62 percent.—Reuters

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