Sunbathers visit the Mediterranean Sea at Dor Beach, northern Israel August 28, 2018. Picture taken August 28, 2018.
(photo credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)
Israel expects a record-breaking 4 million tourists by the end of 2018.
“I am excited to welcome next week Israel’s four millionth tourist in 2018,” said Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin. “This represents the unprecedented success of the Tourism Ministry, which invests in marketing Israel around the world. This includes the latest agreement signed with the Philippine Minister of Labor to increase the quota of up to 1,000 foreign workers in the hotel sector.”
There were approximately 13% more tourist entries in 2018 than 2017, making it 38% more than 2016. Comparatively, the increase in global tourism has only grown by 4%.
In terms of demographics, most of the tourists who visited Israel were Christians, with 61% of the tourists in 2018. Some 22% were Jews, 12.1% not affiliated, 1.8% Muslim, 0.6% were Buddhists, 0.5% were Hindus, 0.1% were Baha’is, and 1.7% others. 40% of tourists in 2018 have already visited Israel before.
There has been a significant increase of tourists from the United States (813,500), France (320,000), Russia (303,200), Germany (259,500), Britain (200,000) and China (about 100,000).
The Tourism Ministry also invested significant funds to expand hotels throughout Israel. This year, NIS 145 million was allocated to help entrepreneurs build 3,829 new rooms, representing an annual growth of 49%.
The ministry also invested NIS 350 million in marketing Israel as a tourism destination around the world, including in countries such as the US, Germany, Russia, Italy, England, China, Ukraine, Brazil and the Philippines. This investment yielded an average increase of 13% in the number of tourists from those countries.
Direct revenues from tourism were NIS 24 billion.