Israel’s welcomed a record 4+ million tourists in 2018, in new figures released by the country’s Ministry of Tourism.
Jerusalem is the world’s fastest growing city in tourism, with an increase of almost 40% in the number of tourists visiting.
2018 saw an increase in tourist arrivals of 13% compared to 2017, and 38% compared to 2016, while tourism revenue exceeded NIS 24 billion ($6.3 billion), according to the ministry.
Tourism Minister Yariv Levin attributed the growth as the “result of a significant revolution in marketing Israel which I have led that includes a shift in marketing strategy, the opening of dozens of new routes with the support of the Tourism Ministry and creating unprecedented collaborations with the largest travel agents in the world. Today tourism makes a huge contribution to Israel’s economy and employment and the many tourists who come here serve as ambassadors of good will.”
“This historical record, of more than 4 million tourists in a year, is the realization of a decades-old dream of all those involved in the Israel tourism industry,” said Tourism Minister Yariv Levin.
The Minister added that: “We are proving that with hard work and a strong marketing effort, Israel can become an attractive tourist destination, thereby giving the economy a huge forward push.”
The Ministry for Tourism reported that 40% of tourists were returning visitors, citing this as “proof that Israel is a desirable destination in the world.”
In honour of what Minister Levin described as “the result of a revolution undertaken by the Ministry of Tourism” the fourth millionth tourist was greeted by the Minister himself at the airport.