Israel welcomed more tourists last month than in July 2006 - not surprising, given the outbreak of the Second Lebanon War in the middle of that month.
While the number of visitors was indeed up by 43 percent between July 2006 and 2007, Tourism Ministry officials also cited a second statistic Monday, pointing to figures showing last month to be the best July for tourism since early in the second Intifada. Some 1,232,800 tourists entered Israel from January through July.
According to numbers released by the Central Bureau of Statistics, some 214,300 visitors arrived in Israel last month, compared to 148,600 for the same period the previous year. The 2007 figure is also 7% higher than the number of tourist visits in July 2005, a year that saw rebounding tourist numbers following Yasser Arafat's death in late 2004.
The CBS figure showed higher numbers of arrivals by land, air and sea this July including a 100% increase in the number of visitors entering from Egypt.