Russian readers of "National Geographic" voted Israel as the second best destination in the world in the "tourism and sightseeing" category, the Israeli Tourism Ministry announced on Wednesday.
Israel beat 22 other countries in the survey, losing only to Italy. Holland came in third, according to the report.
In 2010 Israel came in second place in the category of "number of tourists and visitors," with 550,000. First place in that category was the United States, the report said.
By winning or placing in Russia's "National Geographic Traveler Awards", Israel's tourism industry is guaranteed a certain number of articles in Russia's "National Geographic" magazine, which has a readership of 140,000, according to the Tourism Ministry's report.
According to the survey, Russians' favorite destinations in Israel are Eilat, the Dead Sea, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Russian Orthodox sites around the country, the report said.