ALL TIME RECORD: May 2017 saw highest number of tourists entering Israel


A total of 303,000 tourists flew into Israel, with another 44,000 that entered from Egypt or Jordan in May 2017, an increase of 16.7% over May 2016
• Tourism Minister Yariv Levin: It’s no coincidence; it’s policy.

By Ilan Gattegno


May 2017 marked a record monthly high in the number of incoming tourists arriving in Israel, thanks in part to increased funding for the tourism market and a change in how Israel tourism is marketed internationally. Since the start of 2017, tourism has brought Israel a revenue of $2.18 billion, figures published by the Tourism Ministry on Thursday show.

Israel’s Ben Gurion Int’l Airport, terminal 3 reception hall. – Wikimedia Commons

According to the ministry, May saw 347,000 tourists enter Israel, an increase of 16.7% over May 2016.

In the first five months of 2017, 1.43 million tourists entered Israel, an increase of approximately 25% over the same period the previous year, and some 23% higher than the first five months of 2015.

The numbers for May 2017 are slightly higher than those for May 2014, which held the previous record for incoming tourism.

The local tourism industry all but crashed in the summer of 2014 when Operation Protective Edge in Gaza began, a drop-off in numbers that only recently began to rebound.

A total of 303,000 tourists flew into Israel in May. Another 44,000 came by land from Egypt or Jordan.

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said that “the numbers of tourist entries in recent months prove that our marketing efforts are bearing fruit. It’s not a coincidence; it’s a clear policy. The positive trend that has continued for over six months is making a tremendous contribution to Israeli employment and the economy, and I’m convinced that if we work correctly, we’ll see this trend continue into the coming months.”


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