Aliyah and Integration Minister Yariv Levin announced in a cabinet meeting Sunday that a record 4.5 million tourists visited Israel in 2019, an increase of over 10% from the previous year, and a 55% increase from three years ago. "It took us 30 years, from 1948, to reach the millionth tourist; another 16 years in 1994 to reach the second millionth tourist," Levin said. "At the beginning of the current term [under Netanyahu], we reached the third millionth tourist. In 2017, we reached 4 million tourists within a single year. And this year we have already crossed the line of 4.5 million tourists." "We have received more than NIS 22 billion from tourism, and created more than 13,000 new jobs, resulting in a total of more than 150,000 jobs created due to the influx of tourists," he said. "I think the [tourism] industry is catching on as a central element of the Israeli economy."