Reports about Israelis' difficult economic circumstances have not reached the duty-free shops at Ben Gurion Airport. More than 70,000 passengers passed through the airport last Friday, an all-time high in passenger congestion.
The crowds at Ben Gurion Airport were accompanied by quite a shopping spree. Departing Israelis have been spending an estimated $1 million a day at the duty-free shops. Most of the buyers enjoying the customs exemption are from the middle class, and explain the mass exodus by a wish to enjoy the experience of travel, which they do not have many opportunities to do.
"People travel once every few years, spending whatever it costs," said a passenger. "We'll return home and start working and cover the overdraft," said a passenger who was travelling to London.
"You have to work hard, make money, and enjoy life, not come with complaints to the government or to anyone else," said another passenger headed for Italy.
The passenger traffic record is expected to be broken on Thursday, and Ben Gurion Airport will record the highest passenger traffic numbers in its history this August. What about taxes, the cost of living, and the mortgage? This summer, it turns out that the only slogan on people's minds is "There's nothing like duty-free."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 14, 2013
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