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(photo credit: ASSAF PINCHUK)
Eilat is a must-visit for tourists in 2019, according to The New York Times, which Thursday released a ranking of 52 places to go in 2019.
The newspaper wrote that the coral reef, boasting hundreds of varieties of neon fish, sharks and stingrays, are the Red Sea resort's main attraction, but it is the opening of the new Ramon Airport that opened Israel's most southern city to the wider public.
Eilat is a "newly accessible Red Sea paradise," the Times
With direct flights from European destinations, including Munich, Frankfurt, Prague and London, tourists are now be able to circumvent complicated travel options like charter flights from Tel Aviv or the long drive through the Negev desert, and land directly in the Timna Valley, just a 20 minute drive away from Eilat.
Ramon Airport is named in memory of the Israel’s first astronaut Ilan Ramon, who perished in the 2003 Columbia Space Shuttle disaster, and his son Assaf Ramon who died six years later when his F-16 fighter jet crashed.
The airport was inaugurated last July and will be able to handle some four million incoming tourists.
Puerto Rico made the top of the NYT ranking. Hampi, a small village with a rich cultural history in India's Karnataka region came in second, and Santa Barbara, CA, was ranked third.