by: Ilse Posselt
Friday, 12 May 2017 | Israel arguably takes a top spot on many “places-I-have-to-visit” lists. Dotted with a plethora of biblical, historical and recreational tourist attractions—from the Sea of Galilee in the north to the beaches on the Red Sea in the south and the unsurpassed wonder of Jerusalem in the middle—it is no wonder that thousands of international visitors flock to the Jewish state each month to sample the delights that the Promised Land has to offer.
According to the Ministry of Tourism, a record-breaking 349,000 foreign tourists visited the Jewish state during April 2017. The number is not only a whopping 38% increase when compared with April 2016, but also the highest-ever figure in any month since the rebirth of the State of Israel in May 1948.
The good news continues. With the number of international visitors over the first four months of the year up 26% from last year’s figure and touching on the 1.1 million mark, the ministry speculates that 2017 might be a record-breaking year for Israeli tourism.
Tourism Minister Yariv Levin praised the achievement, hailing the record as an “important and exciting milestone as part of a positive trend that has been taking place over the last half year or more.”
Levin chalked the record up to the ministry’s shift in policy and a dedicated effort focused on boosting tourism in the Promised Land. “When there is clear policy, we see results. Every month, we are witnessing exceptional statistics that illustrate the progress we are spearheading in the tourism industry. I hope and believe that, with hard work, we will continue to reap the benefits of this investment,” he held.
According to World Israel News, the rise in tourism can in part be ascribed to increased marketing endeavors and a concentrated focus on international marketing policies. Israel has, for instance, launched campaigns in the Far East aimed at promoting the Jewish state as a tourism destination of choice, particularly in India and China.
The uptick in tourist figures comes despite the significant strengthening of the shekel, Israel’s currency, over the past few months, which makes the Jewish state a rather expensive choice for international travelers.
Posted on May 12, 2017
Source: (Bridges for Peace, 12 May 2017)
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