Record-breaking 2.18 million tourists visit Israel in first half of 2018

The number of tourists arriving in Israel in the first half of 2018 exceeded 2 million for the first time in history.

By: World Israel News Staff

Some 2.18 million tourists entered Israel between January and June of 2018, the most for any half-year period and the first time the 2 million mark has been broken, the Tourism Ministry said in a statement.

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said that marketing activities being led by his ministry contributed to the record-breaking results.The rise in tourism reflects a 19% jump from the same period in 2017. Some 3.5 million Israelis exited the country during that same period, a 3.5% rise from the same period in 2017.

The Central Bureau of Statistics revealed that 1.8 million tourists entered Israel by air, including 63,000 via Ovda Airport near Eilat. This was a 73% increase from the previous year. Levin noted that due to reforms in the airline industry, the number of flights from Europe to Eilat have increased.

About 243,000 arrived through land crossings. The rest arrived by sea.

In the month of June alone, 310,200 tourists entered the country, representing a 2% increase over June 2017 and a 31% increase over June 2016. Tourism last month earned Israel NIS 1.66 billion.