Israel boasts an eight percent annual increase in tourism for January

Almost 270,000 tourists came into the country via international flights, also about 8% more than last January and almost 18% more than two years ago.

A general view of Tel Aviv's skyline is seen through a hotel window in Tel Aviv, Israel May 15, 2017. Picture taken May 15, 2017 (photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)
A general view of Tel Aviv's skyline is seen through a hotel window in Tel Aviv, Israel May 15, 2017. Picture taken May 15, 2017
(photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)
Around 308,500 tourists visited Israel during January, an 8% increase from last January and a 20% increase from 2018, according to the Tourism Ministry. Israel welcomed a record 4.5 million tourists into the country in 2019.
Nearly 268,900 of those tourists entered the country via international flights, a 7.6% increase from last January and 17.8% more than January 2018.
Revenue from incoming tourists during January was about $437 million (NIS 1.5 billion).
“Tourism records continue to shatter, and we end January 2020 with an 8% increase in incoming tourism on January 2019 and 20% more than in January 2018," Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said.
"The numbers speak for themselves. The revolution in marketing policy that we are leading at the ministry is making its mark, and we hope that we can maintain this positive momentum throughout 2020 despite the expected budget cuts,” he said.
In 2019, Israel enjoyed another unprecedented year of incoming tourism, according to the Tourism Ministry, with approximately 4.55 million tourists visiting the Jewish state.
“We are pleased that the year 2020 has also opened with an increase in the numbers of tourists visiting Israel. This is thanks to, among other things, the scope and professionalism of the ministry’s marketing activities," Levin said.
"The ministry continues to operate within the limits of the existing budget and the additional challenges that have arrived at our door, and will market Israel as an attractive tourism destination with several tourism brands to a varied target audience, in order to maintain the spectacular achievements of recent years," said Tourism Ministry director-general Amir Halevi.
These numbers have broken annual records for a third consecutive year. Tourist entries increased by 11% compared to 2018, when 4,120,800 foreign visitors arrived in the country.
Incoming tourism during that time period injected approximately NIS 23 billion into the economy, the ministry said.
More than 4.5 million tourists visited Israel in 2019. This year, too, we have broken a new record in tourist arrivals,” the tourism minister said.
“This historic achievement is a direct result of the ongoing revolution in marketing Israel around the world, led by the Israel Tourism Ministry – in infrastructure development, incentives for international airlines to open new routes into the country and collaborations with the world’s leading tourism agents,” Levin said.
“Incoming tourism contributes to the development of the periphery and the economy, and I am proud to lead this,” he said.
The leading countries of origin for incoming tourism between January and November 2019 were the United States, with almost 890,000 visitors, followed by France (338,200), Russia (296,000), Germany (268,900) and Britain (218,700).

Eytan Halon contributed to this report.