Tourism Boom Enjoyed by Israel



By: SARAH BAUDER  
Published: December 28th 2010
in News » Israel

The Western Wall

Israel says 2010 is breaking records for incoming tourists in a statement released on Monday. 3.45 million people visited the Jewish state this year, a 26 percent increase in visitors compared to 2009, and 14 percent higher than in 2008. "We are talking about an important achievement. An achievement that is an expression of confidence in the Israeli tourism industry: this year, many more tourists visited Israel from many more countries, with many more bed nights and many more jobs - and, at the end of the day -significantly more money for the Israeli economy." tourism minister Stas Misezhnikov said in a statement. The total revenue amounted to approximately $4.09 billion US. The Palestinian Authority also reported record tourism numbers for 2010, according to the Associated Press.

 

The increase can be attributed to improved security in the country, where Israeli-Palestinian violence after the second intifada in 2000, sent tourism numbers on a downward trajectory.

 

Most popular, were religious sites located in Jerusalem. 77 percent of all tourists visited the Western Wall, and 61 percent went to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Tel Aviv came in second place, and the Dead Sea area in third.

 

Misezhnikov stated that American tourists comprised the largest number of visitors, representing 19 percent, followed by visitors from Russia, France, the UK, and Germany. Of those, more than two-thirds were Christian, and 23 percent were Jewish, with others of various faiths and/or unaffiliated.

 

In the statement, Misezhnikov was optimistic that presuming that all went as planned, and there were no unpleasantries, Israel could reach the 4 million mark by 2011.



Related articles: (Israel, Tourism, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Dead Sea)




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