The hammering Israel's tourism industry has taken since the intifada resumed in September 2000 is evident across the board. The government is debating emergency aid for hotels and tourist entries sagged to a ten-year low in October. The third-quarter financial statement from Africa Israel Hotels just rounds out the gloomy picture.

Africa Israel Hotels, a subsidiary of Russian-Israeli tycoon Lev Leviev's Africa Israel group, reported NIS 10.1 million losses for the third quarter, compared with a profit of NIS 3.3 million for the same period last year.

This is the fourth consecutive quarter for which the company has reported losses.

Third-quarter revenue fell to NIS 61.3 million, 28% less than for the parallel period of last year.

Losses for the first nine months of 2001 deepened to NIS 15.2 million, compared with a profit of NIS 12 million for the parallel period last year. Revenue decreased by 23% to NIS 176.8 million.

The company reported a 61% drop in tourist occupancy in the first nine months, but occupancy by Israelis increased 12%.

The company reported average tourist occupancy of 57%, compared with 76% for the same period last year. The worst-hit city, the company reported, was Jerusalem.

Africa Israel Hotels took several measures to contend with the slump, including job cuts that decreased third-quarter operating costs by 15% to NIS 20.9 million. It is considering investing in tourism and hotels overseas, so that its revenue mix will not be totally at the mercy of developments in Israel.