With a record 3.6 million arrivals in 2017, Israel has reached a “historic turning point” in its tourism fortunes, according to Israeli tourism officials.
“We have never before crossed the three-million-tourist threshold,” observed Israel Tourism Commissioner to North America, Uri Steinberg, who credits an “all-encompassing revolution in marketing policy” for the gains. Implemented over the last two years, the program included offering incentives to airlines to open new routes and collaborating with the world’s top online travel agents.
The outcome saw Israel welcome 3,611,800 million tourists in 2017, a 25 per cent increase over 2016, and 29 per cent over 2015. Canada contributed 80,000 visitors to the tally, a 25 per cent visitor increase in 2017 compared to 2016. The United States remains the largest source country for incoming tourists, with 778,800 tourist entries in 2017, 20% more than 2016.
Steinberg says Israel will continue to invest in and diversify its tourism product going forward “with the aim of adapting it to the new tourism market with an emphasis on the digital space and developing niche tourism markets such as sport, culinary and more.”
There will also be improvements to the tourism infrastructure including cleaning and maintaining key sites, diversifying accommodation options and recruiting more personnel to the tourism industry.
“As a result of all these changes,” Steinberg says, “we are optimistic about the growth in tourism.”
Israel tourism hit "historic" levels in 2017.