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Strong Momentum in Israel’s Tourism Industry Continues in January

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Israel tourism industry in January saw an 11 percent increase in tourist entries, bringing $413 million in revenues to the Israeli economy. Photo by Yona Schnitzer/TPS on 5 February, 2019

Israel tourism industry in January saw an 11 percent increase in tourist entries, bringing $413 million in revenues to the Israeli economy.

According to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), approximately 285,600 tourist entries were recorded in January, 11.3 percent more than January 2018 and a whopping 35 percent more than January 2017. According to the Ministry, there was a 25 percent increase during the first two months of 2017 compared to January-February 2016. This included a 22 percent increase in tourist entries in February 2017 as compared to February 2016, and a 25 percent increase over February 2015.

A total of 3.1 million tourists visited Israel in the year 2015, according to figures released by the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. The number of tourist arrivals in 2015 represents a 4% decrease compared to 2014. The number of incoming tourists gradually increased between January and September of 2015 but the number plummeted from October to December due to the security situation caused by the upsurge in terror attacks by Palestinians at the time.

The largest number of incoming tourists in 2015 came from the United States with 637,000 arrivals, representing a 2% increase compared to the 2014 statistic. Other countries serving as the origin for the largest numbers of tourists visiting Israel in 2015 were France, Germany, the UK, Ukraine and Italy, respectively.

Some 250,200 tourists came to Israel on flights in January of 2019; 10 percent more than January 2018 and 32 percent more than January 2017.

Israeli Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin stated that “the first month in 2019 continues the consistent record-breaking trend in incoming tourism to Israel that we have witnessed over the last two years.”

He added that “the increase in the number of tourists over the years is proof of the quality of the Israeli tourism product,” while expressing hope that “2019 will continue the unprecedented momentum in tourism that we have created in recent years.”

Israel’s tourism industry set a historic record in 2018 when four million tourists visited the Holy Land. The steady stream of visitors injected NIS 24 billion into the economy.

The largest number of tourists to Israel came from the US with 813,500, France with 320,000, Russia with 303,200, Germany with 259,500, Britain with some 200,000 and from China with about 100,000.

Some 40 percent of the tourists who arrived in Israel in 2018 had already visited Israel – proof that Israel is a desirable destination.

In 2018, 61 percent of all tourists were Christian, 22 percent were Jews, 12.1 percent were not affiliated, and 1.8 percent were Muslim.

(TPS)

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