Israel tourism looking healthy

Western Wall at the Dome Of The Rock on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Israel.

Israel recorded an impressive 440,000 international tourist arrivals in May this year, an 11.1-per-cent rise compared with May 2018 and a 26.8-per-cent rise compared with May 2017. This is according to figures released by the country’s Central Bureau of Statistics.

The first five months of this year saw 1.89 million tourists enter Israel overall, a rise of 8.3 per cent compared with the 1.75 million arrivals recorded in the first five months of 2018.

“The May 2019 tourism statistics continue the consistent upward momentum and record-breaking trend in incoming tourism to Israel,” commented Yariv Levin, Israel’s Minister of Tourism. “As a continuation of the growth trend, we are also developing infrastructures and I am pleased that the National Infrastructure Committee has today approved the cable-car project in Jerusalem that will greatly enhance the tourist experience.” The cable car project will enable people to be transported in and out of the Old City by air and seeks to ease congestion.

May 2019 alone saw tourism bring 2.1 billion shekel (around US$6 million) of revenue to Israel, while the period January to May saw total revenues of 9.7 billion shekel from visitors. Looking at the breakdown of how visitors came to Israel last month, 383,200 tourists came by air (11.3 per cent more than in May last year) and 56,600 came via land crossings (9.7 per cent more than May last year), while 25,800 came as day visitors, compared with 25,000 who came as day visitors in 2018.

Israel seems to be a consistently popular tourist destination, with the country enjoying a healthy 2018, and so far, the data suggests that 2019 will continue to build on this.