by: Kate Norman
Wednesday, 7 December 2022 | Israel welcomed its two millionth tourist for 2022 in October, the Tourism Ministry announced, and expects to hit two and a half million by the end of the year.
After having its borders and airports closed to the outside world amid the global pandemic, Israel began reopening this year, welcoming back vaccinated tourists in January and then lifting all restrictions and welcoming unvaccinated tourists in March.
Between January and October 2022, some 2.078 million tourists visited Israel, the Times of Israel reported, citing the Tourism Ministry. If those numbers keep up, the ministry expects around 2.5 million visitors by the end of 2022.
Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov said in a statement in November after the tourism numbers were announced: “Since we removed the restrictions of the coronavirus, the employees of the Ministry of Tourism have worked tirelessly to get the tourism industry back on the right track. I have no doubt that thanks to them, the citizens of Israel will benefit from more and more income for the economy and business tourism.”
The Tourism Ministry still has its work cut out in order to get back to pre-COVID numbers. The Jewish state had hit a record number of tourists in 2019, with 4.55 million tourists. And between January and September 2019, Israel had already welcomed 3.5 million tourists, i24news reported.
For example, 277,700 tourists visited the Jewish state in September 2022, i24news reported, citing Israel’s Bureau of Statistics. That is 39% fewer tourists than the number who visited in the same month in 2019: 436,500 tourists.
Still, Razvozov announced in July after welcoming the millionth tourist to Israel that he had set a goal: 10 million tourists to Israel in 2030.
And the Jewish state is boosting its hotel industry to host the expected rise in tourists, as the Tourism Ministry is encouraging and incentivizing the establishment of new hotels and the expansion of existing hotels which will provide more options for tourists. In fact, 39 new hotels are set to open to visitors in the next few months and throughout 2023, the Times of Israel reported.
And good news for prospective tourists who have yet to visit the Holy Land: Israel has been ranked by US data analytics website The Swiftest as the fifth safest country in the world among the top 50 tourist destination nations.
Many people, when they think of Israel, think of chaotic images they have seen on the news of explosions and terror attacks. But the chances of that happening are very low. The last recorded death of a foreign tourist in Israel was April 2017.
In fact, compare Israel to other countries around the world: Australia, which was ranked at 15th on the list of safest countries; Canada, which ranked at 21; France, ranked at 15; the United Kingdom, ranked at 10 and the US, ranked at 30, the Jerusalem Post reported.
The doors are open and the people of the Jewish state are ready and waiting to welcome new friends.
Posted on December 7, 2022
Source: (Bridges for Peace, December 7, 2022)
Photo Credit: Institute of Israel Studies 2022/bridgesforpeace.com
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