This week Israel will welcome its 3,000,000th tourist for 2017

November 5, 2017 Agencies
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The Israel Tourism Ministry is currently preparing for the arrival of the 3 millionth tourist with the ministry planning to surprise him/her and to leverage the event for its international marketing.

This is the first time tourists ever have passed the 3m mark in a year.

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said: “This is a special day and an historic milestone as we break the 3-million-tourist barrier and we are set to end the year with an amazing achievement, the likes of which have never been reached since the establishment of the State. The huge investment that we are making in marketing Israel around the world and our collaborations with airlines and tour operators is bearing fruit. Thanks to the excellent incoming tourism results, we have added about NIS 17 billion and thousands of jobs to the local economy.”

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin will personally welcome the 3 millionth visitor to Israel. On completion of the festive reception ceremony at the airport, the tourist, accompanied by a team from the Tourism Ministry, will head off for an unforgettable holiday experience. This will include, among others, an upgrade to a pampering hotel suite, a ride in a limousine, a helicopter tour in the skies of Israel, a unique Dead Sea experience, a culinary tour in the Yemenite quarter and other activities and surprises that will be tailored to the tourist and his personal preferences.

The identity and country of origin of the 3 millionth tourist is not yet known. The arrival of the 3 millionth tourist is earlier in November than originally estimated, thanks to the accelerated growth in the numbers of incoming tourists. It should be noted that this is the 3 millionth tourist, as opposed to visitor. As tourists spend at least one night in the country and therefore serve as an economic leverage, the Tourism Ministry decided to work with statistics related to tourist arrivals only. Tourism has become one of the most significant economic engines in the Israeli economy – since the beginning of the year, revenue from incoming tourism stands at about NIS 17 billion.

Since the beginning of the year, the leading source countries for incoming tourism are USA, Russia, France, Germany and Britain. The ministry placed a strategic emphasis on incoming tourism from China, with a subsequent increase on tens of percent on the previous year. The ministry’s new strategy and marketing activities have brought Israel to this all-time record, and 2017 is expected to close as Israel’s record year for incoming tourism.

Two Cities One Break, starring Israeli model Shiri Elmaliach and featuring the holiday experiences in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, is one of the new campaigns ( a new sequel is currently in production). Running in nine languages and Europe and Russia on billboards, TV, digital and social media (Google, Instagram, Facebook etc), the campaign has already reached over a billion people.

In addition, the tourism minister has led landmark agreements signed with online travel agents, such as TripAdvisor and Expedia, generating an increase in the sales of vacation packages to Israel. The cooperation – the first of its type for Israel –  with the leading online travel site TripAdvisor included a million dollar campaign that reached 290 million TripAdvisor users in the USA and Europe, presenting the leading tourist sites in Israel as a recommended destination, as well as special pages and content.

The Tourism Ministry also worked with airlines, offering incentives to open new routes into Israel. In the past year, several airlines have dramatically increased their flights and seat capacity into Israel, such as Ryanair, which for the first time is operating direct flights into Ben Gurion airport from many European destinations

In light of the significant increase in incoming tourism and the desire to lower the vacationing costs in Israel, Minister Levin has led reforms designed to increase competition and supply in the tourism industry. This includes increased assistance for constructing new hotels in Israel and new opportunities for international entrepreneurs to build hotels in the country.

A spokesperson told J-Wire: “Tourists are those who stay more than one night and spend, on average, US$1500 pp per stay, as opposed to day visitors who spend only US$200 pp”.

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