Tourists in Israel (Yehonatan Valtser/TPS) Yehonatan Valtser/TPS

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The year 2019 was very successful for the Israeli tourism industry, which set a new record for incoming tourism and saw an 11% increase in tourist arrivals over 2018.

By TPS

According to official figures, about 4.55 million tourists visited Israel in 2019, injecting about NIS 20 billion into the Israeli economy.

The number of tourist stays in Jerusalem increased by 8% in 2019, and by 9% in Tel Aviv and 18% in Tiberias.

Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin stated that “this historic achievement is a direct result of the ongoing revolution in marketing Israel around the world.”

The Tourism Ministry has launched campaigns in China, India and Europe to encourage tourism from new destinations, has invested in infrastructure development, and has offered incentives for international airlines to open new routes to the country.

“Incoming tourism contributes to the development of the periphery and the economy and I am proud to lead this,” Levin added.

Director-General of the Ministry of Tourism Amir Halevi noted that “this is the third consecutive year that we have broken the record for incoming tourism to Israel,” dramatically increasing tourism visits from two to four and a half million entries annually.

The leading source countries for incoming tourism were the US, France, Russia, Germany, Britain, Italy, Poland, China, Ukraine and Romania.

Some 54 percent of tourists said that their views on Israel changed for the better after visiting the country, and 93 percent ranked their experience as good to excellent, according to the Israeli Ministry of Tourism’s 2018 Inbound Tourism Annual Report published in July 2019.

More than half, 55 percent, of the tourists visiting Israel in 2018 were Christian, just over a quarter were Jewish, and approximately 2.4 percent were Muslims.

The best-maintained sites in Israel according to the survey were the Tel Aviv port, Masada and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.

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