First half of 2017 sees record increase in tourism, ministry reports

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July 10, 2017 14:02

With the summer tourism season underway, the trend shows no signs of slowing down.

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Jerusalem

The Tourism Ministry offices in Jerusalem. A subsidiary of the ministry is scheduled to move to Tel Aviv.. (photo credit:MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Israel has experienced its best half-year ever in the history of the country’s tourism industry, breaking incoming traveler records month after month thus far in 2017.

During the first six months of the year, 1.74 million tourists entered the country, up 26% from the first half of last year and generating NIS 9.4 billion in revenues, the Tourism Ministry reported on Monday. In June, 303,000 tourists arrived – a 28% rise in comparison to June 2016, according to the ministry.

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“The June tourism statistics bring us to record levels for incoming tourism in the first six months of the year,” Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said. “Our policy continues to prove itself and to bear fruit, and we can see that the right marketing strategy can bring Israel to new heights. We are implementing marketing activities and innovative processes to brand Israel and to bring new airlines and new routes into Israel and all this activity proves itself, month after month.”

Tourist arrivals from China took a particular leap from the first half of 2016 to the first half of 2017, climbing some 76%, the Tourism Ministry said, citing data from the Central Bureau Statistics.

The number of Russian tourists increased by 30%, while the number of travelers from the United States – Israel’s largest tourism source – rose by 20%, the data said.

Looking at June in particular, the data showed that 275,000 entries occurred via air, while 28,600 people came by land – with about 24,000 tourists arriving from Jordan and about 4,500 from Egypt. A total of about 19,300 travelers entered as day visitors, as opposed to 8,700 in June 2016, the data said.

As the second half of the year moves forwarded, Levin expressed his confidence that Israel would continue to attract rising numbers of tourists and positively impact the country at large.

“The significant increase in incoming tourism numbers makes an exceptional contribution to the Israeli economy and workforce,” Levin said.

“I am convinced that, with the correct activities, we will see continue to see good results in the coming months.”

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