The world has discovered Samaria, Israel’s heartland, and is visiting it in droves.
By: World Israel News Staff
The Samaria area has recently seen a massive increase in tourism from around the globe, Israel’s NRG news reported Thursday.
The biblical heartland has seen an increase of some 200 percent in incoming tourism, mostly from Asian countries such as Japan, South Korea and the Philippines.
Increased tourism from Sweden, Australia and the US is also noteworthy.
The local municipality explained that the sharp increase in tourism is the outcome of intensive efforts on its part to publicize the region’s unique attractions and sites.
The Samaria Regional Council has also recently signed a twin cities tourism agreement with the Hungarian resort town of Héviz.
Héviz is considered one of Europe’s most popular resort destinations, mainly because of its natural thermal lake, the largest in Europe.
Speaking at the twin cities signing ceremony, Israeli Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin said that “cooperation between Israeli and Hungarian officials will contribute to tourism traffic to Israel, which this year hit an all-time high.”
Tourism in Israel in general has skyrocketed in 2017. The country in November welcomed the three-millionth tourist to visit the Holy Land this year in a special ceremony at Ben Gurion Airport, setting a new annual record at 3.6 million tourists to Israel.
According to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, tourists from nations across the globe are arriving in greater numbers. For instance, there was a 76 percent increase in tourism from China during the first half of 2017, in comparison to that period in 2016. There were also dramatic increases in tourism from Russia and the US, the latter of which represents the largest source of incoming tourism for Israel.
With numbers such as these, the future looks bright for Israeli tourism.
“I am convinced that, with the correct activities, we will continue to see good results in the coming months,” stated Levin in July.