Israel’s Ministry of Tourism expresses cautious optimism tourists will return in spring

About 850,000 tourists entered Israel until March 2020, a decrease of 81.3% compared to 2019.


It started as a year of optimism for tourism to Israel. Tourism had enjoyed record highs in recent years. But it descended into closed airports and a pandemic.

About 850,000 tourists entered Israel until March 2020, a decrease of 81.3% compared to 2019.

The tourism industry, which enjoyed revenues of about NIS 23 billion in 2019, was the among the hardest by the corona crisis. Nearly 200,000 families employed in tourism lost their livelihood.

The Israel Ministry of Tourism, which is responsible for the industry that serves as an engine of growth for the economy, spearheaded a series of moves aimed at preserving the tourist infrastructure to prepare and be ready for the day after the pandemic.

As the pace of the vaccination campaign in Israel leads the world, the Israel Ministry of Tourism has prepared a work plan for bringing back tourists in the spring of 2021.

The plan includes adaptation to the corona era in all areas covered by the ministry’s activities, including marketing, infrastructure and the tourist experience.

Ministry of Tourism Director-General Amir Halevi said that 2020 “continued the tourism records of the previous two years and there was an expectation that we would welcome, for the first time in the history of the country, the five millionth tourist. Instead, the world stopped, and we moved into survival mode.”

“Thanks to the vaccines, we are beginning to see the light of day, we are preparing tailored work plans and various tools for bringing back incoming tourism. We hope that in the coming months we will once again witness incoming tourism traffic, which is critical to employment and an important engine in the Israeli economy,” he said.

With the recent signing of the Abraham Accords, the ministry has developed a strategy to promote incoming tourism from the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.