Inside the Old City of Safed.
(photo credit: SAFED MUNICIPALITY)
More tourists visited Israel last month than in any other month since the establishment of the state, the Tourism Ministry said on Tuesday.
Some 349,000 foreigners visited during April – a record and an increase of 38% over the same period last year.
“When there is clear policy, we see results,” Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said. “This important and exciting milestone is part of a positive trend that has been taking place over the last half year or more.”
According to the ministry, tourism is an “economic growth engine” that continues to break records thanks to the increase in marketing budgets and a shift in Israel’s international marketing strategy.
“Every month, we are witnessing exceptional statistics that illustrate the progress we are spearheading in the tourism industry and its tremendous contribution to the Israeli economy and workforce,” Levin said.
Since January 1, some 1.09 million tourist entries were recorded, marking a 28% increase over the same period last year.
The influx of tourism has injected a record NIS 6 billion into the economy since the start of the year.
“I hope and believe that, with hard work, we will continue to reap the benefits of this investment,” Levin said.
The ministry reported that 309,000 tourists entered the country by air so far in 2017, up 36% over April 2016.
An additional 40,000 tourists entered via land crossings, of whom 34,000 came through Jordan and about 6,000 via Egypt, an increase of 56% over the previous year.
There were around 24,000 day visitors in April, an increase of 27% over the previous year.