Nearly 2.6 million tourist entries into Israel have been recorded since the start of the year, representing a 9.8 percent increase compared to the same period last year, according to new data published Monday by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).
Building on two consecutive record-breaking years of incoming tourism, 2.587 million tourists entered Israel between January and July 2019, compared to 2.356 million during the same period in 2018, report agencies.
Almost half (49 percent) of all tourists arrived in Israel from the United States (580,000 tourists), France (207,000), Russia (174,000), Germany (165,000) and the United Kingdom (132,000).
Revenue from incoming tourism stands at NIS 13.6 billion since the start of the year, and NIS 1.6b. in July 2019 alone.
Approximately 322,800 tourist entries were recorded during July, 10 percent more than July 2018 and 19.1 percent more than July 2017. Significant increases in incoming tourism compared to July 2018 were registered by visitors from China (78 percent increase), Portugal (54 percent), Brazil (36 percent), Italy (34 percent), Spain (33 percent) and Mexico (30 percent).
“Summer begins with a hike in tourist arrivals to Israel,” said Tourism Minister Yariv Levin.
“July was one of the best months for incoming tourism in recent years, part of the trend of increased tourist arrivals in recent months, thanks to the innovative marketing efforts of the [Tourism Ministry]. I have no doubt that this momentum will continue into the coming months.”
Approximately 2.3 million tourist entries this year were by air, representing a 9 percent increase compared to last year. A further 318,000 tourists entered via land crossings into Israel.
Israel has also welcomed 176,000 day visitors to the country, including 29,000 arriving by boat, since the start of the year, marking a 26 percent increase since 2018. Day visitors are not included in the CBS’s incoming tourism total.
“The work of the ministry continues to prove itself in July-August, which are considered weaker months,” said Tourism Ministry director-general Amir Halevi.
“Israel has become a summer holiday destination as well, and we continue to prepare for further breaking records in the coming months.”