(photo credit: RAANAN COHEN)
Tourists flocked to Israel this summer, an increase which injected billions of dollars into the Israeli economy this year.
253,800 tourist entries were recorded in August 2017, up 20% from the previous year, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics. From January to August 2017, 2.3 million tourists entered the country, a 24% rise from 2016 and 20.4% more than in 2015.
Since the beginning of 2017, tourism has injected $3.4 billion into the Israeli economy.
For the first time, the Tourism Ministry ran a pre-summer marketing campaign in Europe, encouraging travel to Israel during the summer months. Until now, the summer was a low period for tourism, a trend which the ministry made an effort to change. The ministry's first campaign in Poland helped garner a 60% rise in tourist entries from the eastern European nation.
Of the tourist entries, 231,800 came by air, an increase of 19% on August 2016 and 9% on August 2015. 21,900 more tourists arrived through the land crossings, 18,800 of which came via Jordan and about 3,100 via Egypt. A 125% increase in day visitors was recorded in August; 21,200 in 2017 compared with the 9,400 who came in August 2016.