Record number of Israelis travel abroad in 2013

January 8, 2014 16:56

Last year saw 4.8 million departures, a 9% increase over the previous year; chaos in Sinai seems to limit one-day visitors.

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Ben Gurion Airport during airline strike

Ben Gurion Airport. (photo credit:Ben Hartman)

Israelis traveled abroad in record numbers in 2013, with 4.8 million departures, a nine percent increase over the previous year, according to data the Central Bureau of Statistics released on Wednesday.

Of those, 4.3 million were air departures, while most of the remainder left by land – and a handful by sea.

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Over a quarter of the departures occurred in the summer months of July and August.

The number of people departing in 2013 was 2.6 million (about 1.6 million went abroad multiple times), up 8% from the previous year.

Whatever attractions and business dealings beckoned Israelis to leave, Israel managed to attract fewer travelers to its own shores.

Some 3.5 million travelers visited Israel in 2013, around the same number as the previous year.

Among those travelers who entered and left the country on the same day, there were marked declines in visits from Russia, Poland and Ukraine, the top three countries in the category.

Poland, in particular, saw a 49.4% drop in the number of one-day visitors to Israel.

Over half of the day visitors from those countries enter Israel through the Taba crossing, meaning that the instability in Sinai is likely responsible for the drop.

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