Record 313,000 foreign tourists visit in March

Tourism Ministry announces a rise of 56% over March 2009 figures and 17% over March 2008.

chicks at dead sea 311 (photo credit: AP)
chicks at dead sea 311
(photo credit: AP)
Continuing this year’s trend of record-breaking numbers of incoming tourists, March 2010 boasted the highest March monthly total ever, with 313,000 foreign visitors entering Israel throughout the month.
On Tuesday, the Tourism Ministry announced a rise of 56% over March 2009 figures and 17% over March 2008.
According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, in the period of January-March 2010, 747,000 tourists visited Israel, an increase of 54% over the same period last year and an increase of 15% over 2008.
Tourism Minister Stas Meseznikov said that within the context of preliminary discussions on the 2011-2012 budget, the continuing growth in incoming tourism obligated a significant increase in the ministry’s budget to continue the momentum.
“In 2009, despite the global economic crisis and the Gaza operation,the Israeli tourism industry has succeeded in making a quick recoverythanks to the immediate focused marketing efforts of the TourismMinistry and the industry and the beginning of the implementation ofthe three-year work plan formulated by the ministry last November,”said Meseznikov. “Investment in this industry will create tens ofthousands of new jobs, most of them in the periphery, and additionalincome of hundreds of millions of shekels into the economy,” he added.
This year has also seen a sharp rise in Israelis traveling abroad. Thefirst three months of 2010 saw 769,000 Israelis go abroad, a rise of27% from 2009 and 8% from 2008. March alone saw 338,000 people exit thecountry.