Record 3.9m. travel abroad in '07

Number represents 12% more than the record 3.7 million that departed in all of 2006.

Ben Gurion 248.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Ben Gurion 248.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
A record 3.9 million Israelis traveled abroad in the first 11 months this year, according to figures released Monday by the Central Bureau of Statistics, 12% more than the record 3.7 million that departed in all of 2006. Of those, 254,000 took place during November, of which 83% were by air, a 10% increase compared to November 2006. Forty-two thousand departures were done via the country's land borders, an increase of 31% compared to November 2006, and 1,700 people left Israel via its sea ports, a rise of 3.4%. Four percent of the departures were of Israelis who live abroad but were here on a homeland visit while some 19,000 Israelis, 79% of whom are men, traveled out of the state at least twice during the month. According to the bureau's annual trend analysis, an increase of 15% in the number of Israeli departures was reported during the months of September to November. Meanwhile, almost 209,000 visitors entered Israel during November including 143,000 via its airports, 65,000 through its land borders and 600 via the seaports. Those numbers were 24% above year-ago levels and brought total incoming figures, now standing at 2.1 million, to above 2 million for the first time since 2001. "With revenue of NIS 11 billion obtained from tourism during the year of 2007 and an increase of NIS 1b. compared to the year before, we have managed to add more 20,000 new employees to the job market," Tourism Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said Monday. As more tourists arrive in Israel, the municipality of Jerusalem, together with the Tourism Ministry, has launched "HolyPass" - a smart card that allows the visitors to attend five tourist sites and attractions for the price of NIS 99 for an adult and NIS 50 for a child. The electronic card is being sold to groups as well as to individuals and also provides holders with discounts and benefits in other sites, stores and services in Jerusalem. Some 10 million people visit Jerusalem a year, out of which 1.5 million people arrive at the Old City and its many tourist sites that charge entering fees. Purchasers of the HolyPass can save up to 25 percent on entrance fees and also will receive free maps, information and tour guidance booklets, as well as full support via the Web site, in English and in Hebrew: