Almost the same number of tourists visited Israel in August 2009 and in the previous year, when a record 265,000 tourists came to the Holy Land. These data released on Tuesday by the Central Bureau of Statistics indicate a halt in the downward trend in incoming tourism, which in January-August 2009 dropped by altogether 16 percent compared to 2008.
Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov noted that the targeted marketing efforts of the Tourism Ministry in the last few months had begun to yield results.
"The new marketing positioning of Israel as the Holy Land, with Jerusalem at its center, will continue to lead the Israeli tourism industry into growth. Other activities that we have implemented, including working visits to target countries such as Russia and the United States, important meetings with leading tourism professionals in various countries and leveraging the Papal visit to Israel, have all led to the halt in the downward spiral that started at the beginning of the year," he said in a statement.
During the Jewish calendar year of 5769, which finishes at the end of this week, over 2.6 million tourists visited Israel. The Tourism Ministry is preparing for the anticipated 270,000 tourists expected to visit Israel during the Jewish holidays.