Only 24% of tourists visiting Israel are Jewish

July 25, 2013 by J-Wire
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Income from tourism in Israel has grown from $4bn in 2009 to $5.1bn in 2012 with 56% of inbound tourists being Christian and only 24% Jewish.

Tel Aviv sky line    Photo: Henry Benjamin

Tel Aviv sky line Photo: Henry Benjamin


J-Wire checked with local travel agents who reported that they had not noticed any decline in ticketing to Israel but there has been a phenomenal rise in pilgrimage traffic much of which has been fired up by TV evangelists such as Pastor Benny Hinn.

In a report issued by the Ministry of Tourism, Minister for Tourism Dr Uzi Landau said: “Tourists are voting with their feet and we welcome them.”

The average spend per tourist in 2012 was US$1,484.

The survey, based on results from 25,000 families or 41,500 individuals revealed that 64% visited Israel to see families and friends up on 49% in 2011.

In 2011, 36% gleaned their information about Israel from the Internet compared to 27% in 2011.

32% of tourists were part of an organised tour with 46% arriving independently. 22% bought tour packages in Israel.

The average stay for tourists in Israel has not changed and remains at 8.2 days although tourists staying longer than 30 days were not included in that calculation.

Only 4% of tourists said that they would not return to Israel.

74% of tourists stayed in a hotel or holiday village, 16% stayed with family or friends, 4% stayed in youth hostels , 3% in rented accommodation, 2% in Christian hostels and 2% in other hostels…

Visitors from cruise ships spent on average US$145 per day.

It should be noted that Operation Pillar of Defence in Mid-November, 2012 adversely affected inbound tourism for several months.

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