The vast white beaches of Tel Aviv are usually swarmed with international sun seekers but this summer's conflict in Gaza has sparked a wave of tourist cancellations.

As well as its status as leisure tourism hot spot, Israel's biggest city is also the cultural capital of the country.

However, Tel Aviv is in the middle of severe slump as foreign tourists have decided to stay away. While there were no deaths in the city as a result of rockets fired from Gaza, images of terrified Israeli civilians streaming towards bomb shelters reached the world as the conflict raged throughout July and August.

Israel launched the offensive on Gaza on 8 July, in response to rocket attacks by Hamas militants. More than 2,200 Palestinians were killed in the fighting, while Israel lost 66 soldiers along with seven civilians.

While the human disaster of the fighting had an immediate impact on foreign visitors to the country, the effects on Israel's economy could have a longer-term impact.

Historically, Tel Aviv has recovered quickly from downturns. However, almost-immediate cancellations in arrivals and the sheer length of the summer offensive have caused tourists to stay away.