Israeli tourism continues to surge, up 34% in March

Israel’s tourist boom continues with 393,000 visitors arriving in March 2018, marking a major increase over March 2017.

By: World Israel News Staff

Israel’s tourism industry continued to experience significant growth in 2018, with slightly less than a million (949,000) tourists visiting the country between January and March of this year. This represents a 30 percent increase over last year’s numbers and 58 percent more than 2016. This influx of holiday travelers and pilgrims injected NIS 4.9 billion into Israel’s economy.

Approximately 393,000 of these visitors arrived in March of this year, bringing with them roughly NIS 2 billion in revenue.

Tourism Minister, Yariv Levin, credited the opening of new direct air routes and new markets from India and Brazil for the welcome spike in visitors.  He added that the surge was the outcome of the “marketing activities and the innovative steps” his ministry is taking, together with the airline incentives and infrastructure investment.

The ministry’s marketing push generated significant new traffic from the US (39 percent), Poland (136 percent), Sweden (90 percent), Spain (68 percent), Germany (55 percent) and France (49 percent).

“Tourism continues to contribute significantly to the Israeli economy and the labor market,” Levin underscored.

The stellar numbers posted in the first quarter of this year follow the trend established in 2017, which saw record levels of visitors descend upon the Holy Land. In total, 3.6 million tourists generated NIS 20 billion in revenue in 2017.

In the past three years, Israel’s tourism industry has benefited from the opening of 18 new airline routes to Ben Gurion airport operated by airlines based around the world. A new route from Shanghai brought in 46 percent more travelers than the previous year and a staggering 139 percent increase since 2015.

If the first quarter of the 2018 is any indication, and barring any further flare-up of regional tensions, Israel’s tourism industry is on pace to set new records for visitors and revenue generation.