Tourists in Jerusalem. (shutterstock) shutterstock
Tourists in Jerusalem

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Restrictions on travel due to COVID were only fully removed in May.

By JNS.org

Last year, 2,675,000 foreign tourists visited Israel, compared to 397,000 in 2021 and 831,000 in 2020, when international travel was curbed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Revenue from incoming tourism in the past 12 months stood at just under $4 billion.

Israel’s borders were only officially opened to incoming tourism last March, and all restrictions were dropped in May.

Incoming tourism to Israel in 2022 was about 40% lower than in record-setting 2019. However, more than 20 million overnight stays by Israelis were recorded last year, more than in 2019, reflecting a surge in domestic tourism.

“2022 was a year of recovery from the corona crisis. The trend is positive and breaking the incoming tourism record of 2019 is a realistic goal on the horizon,” said newly minted Tourism Minister Haim Katz.

“Domestic tourism has proven itself as an economic force just as essential as incoming tourism. Our goal is to reduce obstacles, to launch projects that increase the accommodation supply and develop infrastructure, to fully realize the tourism potential in the country,” he added.

Meanwhile, some 70,000 people from 95 different countries immigrated to Israel in 2022, the most olim in 23 years and a dramatic increase from 2021, when about 28,600 immigrants arrived in the country.

Also in 2022, Israel’s population increased by 2.2% to a total of 9,656,000, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics.

Of the country’s residents, 7,106,000 are Jews (73.6%), 2,037,000 are Arabs (21.1%) and 513,000 are of other denominations.

The population increase dwarfed the 1.8% growth in 2021, with the difference being attributed in part to a larger number of immigrants in the past 12 months.

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