Tourist entries to Israel up 3%

January 10, 2014 by J-Wire Staff
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A massive 24% increase in tourism in Israel in December has spearheaded the annual figure for 2013’s rise by 3%.

Uzi Landau     Pic: Henry Benjamin

Minister Uzi Landau     Pic: Henry Benjamin

The December figures reported by the Central Bureau of Statistics reveal that more that 272,000 visitors entered Israel in December.

Annual figures for 2013 show that domestic tourism accounted for 16.7 million nights (all types of accommodation)…a 3% increase.

Leading source countries for incoming tourism were USA, Russia, France, Germany, UK

Most visited city by incoming tourists was Jerusalem ( 75%) and  the Western Wall most visited site (68%).

53% of incoming tourists were Christian; half of them Catholic and 28% were Jewish.

The Ministry of Tourism has reported that tourist satisfaction levels reached 4.3 out of 5 with improvement on last year in the attitude of the general public to tourists, in entertainment and night life and accommodation facilities

Statistics show a trend in tourist accommodation moving away from tourist hotels to other types of accommodation (other hotels, youth hostels, Christian hostels and vacation rentals/ownership)

Tourism’s contribution to the economy in 2013 – NIS 40 billion fuelling an industry which numbers 100,000 direct employees in tourism of whom one-third work in hotels. Indirect employees in tourism – 195,000, about 6% of all employees.

Tourism Minister Dr. Uzi Landau: “The year 2013 is a record year for tourism and we are proud of that. Despite Operation Pillar of Defense and the security situation in the region, tourists voted with their feet. The Tourism Ministry will continue to invest in maintaining the numbers of tourists arriving in Israel, by opening new markets and actively marketing the tourism product around the world. I wish all tourists a happy 2014.”

According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, 272,000 visitors entered Israel in December 2013, 14% more than December 2012 and !% and 3% higher respectively than December 2010 and 2011.  Of these visitor entries, 241,000 were tourists (staying more than one night), 24%  more than December 2012, and 12% and 11% more than December 2010 and 2011 –  an all-time record for the month. December was still registering a decrease in day visitors across the Egypt-Israel border as a result of the instability in Egypt. The decrease of 14% was less than that recorded in November.

211,000 entries were by air, 22% more than December 2012, of which 7,000 arrived on direct flights to Eilat (27% more than December 2012) . 30,000 came through the border crossings, 33% more than December 2012; 22,000 came through the border with Jordan (27% increase) and about 7,800 through Taba to Eilat (50%  more than last December).

31,000 entries were recorded by day visitors, 29% less than December 2012. Of these, 12,000 arrived on cruise ships (47% less than last December). 16,000 day visitors arrived via the land crossings (14% decrease on last year) and about 2,500 by air (9% more than last year).

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