Since the start of 2017, tourism has infused $2.18 billion into the Israeli economy, according to figures published Thursday by Israel’s Tourism Ministry. The month of May saw 347,000 tourists enter Israel, an increase of 16.7 percent from May 2016.
Tourism Minister Yariv Levin attributed the tourism boom to the Israeli government’s marketing efforts.
“It’s not a coincidence; it’s a clear policy,” he said. “The positive trend that has continued for over six months is making a tremendous contribution to Israeli employment and the economy, and I’m convinced that if we work correctly, we’ll see this trend continue into the coming months.”
In the first five months of this year, 1.43 million tourists entered Israel, an increase of approximately 25 percent from the same period last year, and 23 percent higher than the first five months of 2015.
The numbers for May 2017 are slightly higher than those for May 2014, which held Israel’s previous monthly record for incoming tourism. The local tourism industry proceeded to crash in the summer of 2014, during Israel’s 50-day war with Hamas in Gaza.
A total of 303,000 tourists flew into Israel in May 2017, and another 44,000 arrived by land from Egypt or Jordan.
(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org)