Published on : Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Israel witnessed a record incoming tourism year in 2016 with the arrival of 2.9 million tourists, up 3.6%, compared with 2015. Infact, tourism hit an all-time high in September-December 2016 period. Israel attracted 250,000 tourists in December alone.
Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin said, “The increase in tourist arrivals in Israel is a result of the substantial budget allocations for marketing efforts, including attractive campaigns, investment in new markets, and the development of relevant sub-brands for different target markets.”
The Ministry of Tourism’s budget has reached NIS 500 million this year. Israel Tourism Ministry has aimed at new markets, such as India and China, and marketed itself as hub of pilgrimage tourism, leisure and entertainment tourism. A tie-up with travel websites such as Expedia and TripAdvisor also worked in its favour.
Levin added, “The increase of tourism did not happen by itself… The strategic plan is adapted to fluctuations and changes in global tourism. I will continue to promote the Ministry of Tourism’s activity with international strategic partners, so that the tourism market in Israel continues to development and prosper.”
The countries from which tourism to Israel grew the most substantially in 2016, compared with 2015, were China (69%), Croatia (62%), Belarus, Latvia, and Georgia (41%), Malaysia (35%), Philippines (27%), and India (13%). The US and Russia continue to lead in the number of tourists arriving in Israel, followed by France, the UK, Germany, and Ukraine.