A report released by the Tourism Ministry on Monday revealed that Israel’s tourism industry continues to break records with more tourists visiting the Jewish State in October 2018 than ever before, totaling about 486,000 registered entries to the country.
Globes reported that this represents a 19% increase over April 2018 numbers, which held the previous record for tourist entrances, and a 14% increase from October of last year. 300,000 of the tourists visiting Israel in October came from European countries, 43,300 from Russia, 41,200 from France, 38,000 from Germany, and 26,200 from the UK.
“The month of October breaks a historic record with an astonishingly unprecedented figure of almost half a million tourists who arrived in Israel in one month,” said Israeli Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin.
“Incoming tourism contributes significantly to both Israel’s economy and, no less importantly, to its image,” added Levin. “I am convinced that we will continue to see the sharp rise in the number of tourists arriving in Israel, and we will end the year with another record.”
According to the report, 3.4 million tourists visited Israel in the period of January to October 2018. They spent an average of eight days in the country. Israel had a record-breaking 3.836 million tourists last year and 3.069 million tourists in 2016.
Data revealed that a direct correlation can be drawn between countries from which tourism increased and where the Tourism Ministry invested most in marketing efforts over the past two years. Hungary produced the most significant increase at about 65%, followed by Italy at about 50%. Poland, Romania, and Holland each saw a 40% increase. The number of tourists from Germany rose 20% and the United States increased at about 13%.
Another factor in the tourism boom is that more airlines, including many low-cost operators, offer direct flights to Israel. At a conference in May, Levin commented on the grants that his ministry had provided to foreign airlines that introduced new routes to Israel. “We invested NIS 100 million in grants for airlines. This investment has proved to be extremely worthwhile,” he concluded.
Ben Gurion Airport also opened a new wing earlier this year, allowing it to handle 1,800 more passengers per hour. This expanded capacity has put Israel’s international airport on track to rank as one of the world’s busiest airports next year.
[Photo: Ralf Roletschek / WikiCommons ]