A number of trends have recently emerged in the shaping and development of Tel Aviv’s catalogue of tourism offerings, with the following changes in particular impacting the field and offering a fresh perspective on what visitors want when traveling to the city.


Tel Aviv – Beyond the Beach

A number of trends have recently emerged in the shaping and development of Tel Aviv’s catalogue of tourism offerings, with the following changes in particular impacting the field and offering a fresh perspective on what visitors want when traveling to the city.


Destination City

“Tel Aviv is a young, vibrant city, bursting with stories, unique flavors, a thriving hospitality industry and a unique economy, filled with startups and artistic expression,” says Ronit Copeland, Managing Director for Copeland Hospitality, an international hospitality and leisure consulting firm. YouthfulCities, a global initiative ranking the world’s top youthful cities, has placed Tel Aviv at number 14 in their 2016 top youthful cities survey, backing up this statement. “But the city’s appeal reaches far beyond the beachfront and even the activity on Rothschild Boulevard, as visitors strive for a local connection to the city and its communities, which holds greater appeal on their agenda.”


An increasing trend in city break vacations, specifically Israel’s “Two Cities, One Break” campaign, has resulted in 1.9 million visitors entering the country last year. “People want more experiences in less time, and this starts with accommodation. Take the Poli House Hotel as an example, a chic boutique property located adjacent to Carmel Market, in the heart of authentic Tel Aviv,” outlines Copeland. “It’s a blend of quirky design and cool parties, in a location that connects with its communities and meets the desires of visitors who want to walk the alleyways, immerse with the locals and sense a place during that moment of time. We will continue to see many of these types of property spring up.”


The Blurred Hotel Definition

According to the Tel Aviv Hotel Association, around 800 hotel rooms were added across Tel Aviv during 2016, with more to be inaugurated in 2017, bringing new concepts to light. “It is more critical than ever to bring something new to the hotel table,” says Copeland. “With a huge influx of new properties comes greater competition, meaning a greater need for a unique selling point, more of which we are starting to see.”

Fattal’s NYX has strategically branded itself as more than “just a hotel,” by providing amenities spanning a visiting tattoo artist and barbershop, to arcade machines and a rooftop with projector for movie screenings. “It’s a very millennial concept to combine a traditional hotel’s offering with a thriving social scene, providing more than just a place for guests to sleep.”


Similarly, the Abraham Hostel Tel Aviv offers a diverse range of accommodation options, from shared dorms and facilities to private rooms, and hosts daily events in its communal spaces, including Friday night dinners, concerts and various workshops, in turn creating a multi-conceptual approach in attracting visitors and the local community to a common space.


New Luxury is the Experience

“The new-age type of traveler is looking for a new-age type of luxury, not defined by a large suite and over the top furnishings, but a fashionable environment where you can kick off your shoes and enjoy authentic hospitality,” explains Copeland. “I call these types of people ‘flash packers’ – they have a higher budget than the traditional backpacker, but would rather spend this on a unique experience than on old-school luxury.” The W Hotel in Jaffa, set to open later in the year, is described as blending lifestyle, location and hospitality amid the classic backdrop of Tel Aviv. “This hotel is promising to be something special, a mix of substance and style, with a hi-tech fast pace experience interjected with flashes of personality everywhere.”


Another new hotel opening this year, The Drisco, will showcase influences from a bygone era, befitting the needs of current day visitors by offering an elegant space that intermingles with the traditional surroundings of the American Colony, the historical Tel Aviv district where it is located. “These types of hotels attract an eclectic, often bohemian crowd, who appreciate a contemporary form of luxury that is flexible to their need to experience Tel Aviv’s vibe though meeting, eating, playing and relaxing.”


Smart Hotels

The Smart Hotel trend has been growing in Israel in general, and particularly in Tel Aviv, where more and more properties are implementing new types of communication systems – for example the Sheraton Tel Aviv’s on-demand guest WhatsApp messaging platform – all with a common goal to transform the function of their services. “Smart luxury is a concept that many travelers have come to expect from a hotel now, more so than traditional elements,” Says Copeland. In illustration of this, the Setai Tel Aviv, scheduled to open later in the year, has implemented Smart features across every aspect of its hotel, including a lighting system in each room to suit individual preferences, and laptop television connection.


A Food Revolution

The culinary scene in Tel Aviv has been flourishing in recent years, with new eateries, chef restaurants and markets opening throughout the year. “I predict street market and food carts will be the next big trend in this city. With regulation now less of an issue, food carts will join the culinary experience within the next two years and in some cases, will operate as an extension of hotel facilities.” The CuCu Hotel, located in the center of the Dizengoff district, has already demonstrated something similar with Cafe Castel at its entrance: “It’s a popular coffee and snacking spot that serves as a colorful backdrop to take a shopping break, and it’s always busy.” Another example is EatWith, a social dining platform where visitors can dine with locals and meet other internationals over a common interest, a concept hailed by Vogue as the “Airbnb of Dining.”