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Record Number of Tourists visit Israel in 2013

9 January, 20149 January, 2014 0 comments Tourism Tourism

Despite a two year old civil war raging in Syria and ongoing conflict in Egypt, tourists are flocking to a very peaceful Israel. The Israel Ministry of Tourism announced today that a record number of tourists, 3.56 million, visited the country in 2013, up slightly over 2012 levels. The number of tourist entries increased 3 % over 2012, pointing to a growing interest in longer term visitors rather than day visitors.

2013 was a banner year for Israel tourism, marked by several significant events including President Obama's first presidential visit to the country in March 2013 followed by the renewal of peace talks, which have fueled an atmosphere of cautious optimism.Moreover the security situation in Israel and the Palestinian Territories continues to be quiet with little, if any, distruptions occcuring within the tourism sector as a result of political situation.

The United States continued to be the most significant market for for incoming tourists with 623,000 tourists, however, tourism from Russia, which has been increasing signficantly over the last few years due to the elimination of visa requirements, registered 603,000 tourists. Given its proximity to Israel and increasing economic strength, it is quite likely that in future years Russia will overtake the US as the most significant market of tourism to Israel. Other important markets continue to be France, Germany, and the UK.

Tourism 2014 is anticipated to continue its upward trend. The new open skies agreement is expected to prompt a number of new airlines to fly to Israel increasing competition and lowering fares.Pope Francis's upcoming pilgrimage will undoubtedly have a positive influence on tourism though much of the impact will likely be felt in tje end of 2014 and into 2015. A number of new hotels have recently opened and are under construction, both in Israel and in the Palestinian Territories. This is expected to drive additional growth during high peak periods of the year and, in addition, should also help to drive more overnights into the neighboring Palestinian Territoires, which, compared to Israel, remain sorely in need of new hotels to meet the growing demand to the region.

Christians continue to represent the most significant group of tourists with over 56% of all tourists to Israel. Of these, Catholics comprise approxiamtely one half of all Christians, or about 1.1 million tourists.


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Elisa L. Moed is the Founder and CEO of Travelujah, the leading Christian social network focused on travel to the Holy land. People can learn, plan and share their Holy Land tour and travel experiences on Travelujah.

TagsTags: israel tourism 


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