Monday,  November 28, 2022  8:26 pm

Israel is open to international tourism. Here's what's new for 2022

Israel is open to international tourism. Here's what's new for 2022
Israel has approved a $35 million upgrade to the Western Wall. (Sander Crombach)
Pax Global Media

Canadian travellers, since Jan. 9, 2022, have been able to freely enter and depart Israel, which is ready to welcome back foreign visitors after a near two-year closure due to the pandemic.

The country on the Mediterranean Sea has spent its downtime preparing for tourism’s inevitable comeback, renovating many historical sites to increase visitor accessibly while moving forward with new and exciting hotel projects. 

With a vast culinary scene, a variety of national parks and hiking trails, sacred sites and public markets, Israel offers smorgasbord of activities and cultural and culinary experiences (not to mention comfortable year-round temperatures, which is perfect for those looking to escape winter weather).

What's new in Israel for 2022 and beyond? Here’s a roundup of what visitors can expect.

Hotel Openings & Announcements

  • Herbert Samuel Hod Dead Sea: Now open and available for booking, The Hod Dead Sea Hotel from the Herbert Samuel hotel chain is located in the northern area of Ein Bock, with prime positioning on the shores of the Dead Sea. The hotel offers 205 rooms, modern villas, designed and equipped to a high standard, facing a magical view of both the desert and the Dead Sea.
  • 7MINDS Desert Resort: 7MINDS, a boutique hotel chain owned by Fattal Group, announced the opening of a new luxury five-star resort overlooking a desert landscape and the Dead Sea in the Judean Desert. The hotel is anticipated to open in 2025.
  • Fattal Hotel Chain Sea of Galilee Hotel: The Fattal Hotel Chain, in tandem with Kibbutz Ein Gev, announced the development of a new five-star deluxe standard resort, located on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. The resort is expected to open in 2025, and will include approximately 120 rooms.

 The Hod Dead Sea Hotel. (

Visitor Attractions

  • Earth Poetica at the Gottesman Family Israel Aquarium, Jerusalem: On Feb. 6, 2022, Israeli artist Beverly Barkat will open her newest solo exhibition in Israel at the Gottesman Family Israel Aquarium, Jerusalem

The exhibition, Earth Poetica, centres around a huge sphere built from wrought iron with 180 panels that shine and sparkle in the light. 

This globe, created by Barkat, holds the earth's landmasses and seas and oceans delineated with predominantly emerald greens and aqua blues, confetti pinks, burnt oranges and earthy browns - a perfect depiction of a precious jewel encrusted world. 

And yet on approach, when looking deep within the sphere, one can see that the jeweled colours are in fact the plastic waste that is thrown on the ground and tangled in the waves of our oceans and seas. The exhibit will be on display for six months. 

  • Western Wall Infrastructure Upgrades: As one of Israel’s most iconic and top-visited site, Israel has approved a $35 million upgrade to the Western Wall. The plan aims to encourage more visits to the site by improving public transportation accessibility, developing new educational programs and continuing existing development projects.

New Flight Routes

  • American Airlines: Beginning May 6, 2022, American Airlines will launch a new route from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport direct to Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, making it the third non-stop American Airlines flight direct from the U.S. to Tel Aviv to be added its roster in less than a year.
  • El Al: Beginning March 27, 2022, El Al Airlines, Israel’s national carrier, resume non-stop service from Boston’s Logan Airport to Ben Gurion in Tel Aviv.

Archaeological Discoveries

  • Second Synagogue from the Second Temple Period Found in the Migdal Excavations: A 2,000-year-old synagogue from the Second Temple period was recently discovered in Migdal, a large Jewish settlement from this period. Migdal served as the main base for Yosef Ben Matityahu (Flavius Josephus) in his war against the Romans in the Galilee during the Great Revolt. 

This is the first time that two synagogues have been found in a single settlement from the Second Temple period, the time when Jesus of Nazareth was active.

  • Prehistoric human vertebra, approximately 1.5 million years old, discovered in the Jordan Valley: Following research led by Dr. Alon Barash of the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine of Bar-Ilan University, Professor Ella Been of Ono Academic College, Professor Miriam Belmaker, a 1.5 million-year-old human vertebra was discovered in Israel's Jordan Valley. 

According to the research, ancient human migration from Africa to Eurasia was not a one-time event but occurred in waves. The first wave reached the Republic of Georgia in the Caucasus approximately 1.8 million years ago. 

The second is documented in 'Ubeidiya, in the Jordan Valley, south of the Sea of Galilee, about 1.5 million years ago.

  • Ancient treasure uncovered from 2 shipwrecks off Caesarea coast: A number of fascinating artifacts from the wrecks of two ships that foundered off the coast of Caesarea in the Roman and Mamluk periods (some 1700 and 600 years ago) have been discovered in recent months near Caesarea, during an underwater survey conducted by the Marine Archaeology Unit of the Israel Antiquities Authority. The ships’ cargoes and the remains of their wrecked hulls were found scattered in shallow water at a depth of about 4 m, scattered on the sea floor.

 For Israel’s latest COVID-19 entry guidelines, click here.

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