Tourism to Israel sets a new record

A tourist couple visits the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. (Noam Moskowitz/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JWN and agencies)—A record 1.4 million tourists arrived in Israel during the first five months of 2012, some 4 percent higher than the previous record year of 2010, the Central Bureau of Statistics announced Monday. In addition the bureau noted that May’s figures were also a record breaking 4 percent higher than May 2011.

“The consistent increase in incoming tourism and the new record highs prove that the investment in the industry contributes to increased income for the economy and creates tens of thousands of new jobs,” said Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov.

“Against the background of the ongoing global economic crisis, the importance of investment in engines for growth becomes sharper and tourism is a central player in maintaining the robust Israeli economy,” he added.

According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, 1.4 million visitors arrived between January and May, representing 6 percent more than the same period in 2011 and 4 percent more than the record year 2010.

In May some 321,000 visitors arrived in Israel, 4 percent more the 2011 record of 308,000. How did they get here? Some one million arrived by air between January and May (2 percent more than the same period last year), while about 182,400 tourists crossed into Israel by land, 10 percent more than the same period last year.

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