The number of foreign tourists coming to Israel reached an all-time record of 739,000 in the first quarter of 2017, up 24% from the corresponding quarter of last year, the Ministry of Tourism reported. In March alone, 293,000 tourists reached Israel from abroad, up 22% from March 2016.
The sharp rise in tourism comes despite the significant strengthening of the shekel, which makes Israel an especially expensive destination. In the first three months of the year, incoming tourism earned the Israeli economy an estimated NIS 4 billion, up NIS 730 million from the corresponding period of 2016. The rise in tourism has added some 5,000 new jobs to the Israeli economy.
In 2016, nearly 3 million tourists came to Israel, up 3.6% from 2015.
Virtually all tourists enter Israel by air. In March, 256,000 tourists came by air and only 38,000 by land or sea, including 12,000 day visitors - this figure was down from 19,000 in March 2016.
April is expected to be a bumper month for tourism with the Passover and Easter festivals brining large numbers of religious tourists to the country. The hope is that Israel can surpass the record number of 3.54 million tourists to Israel in 2013.
Friday, April 14, 2017