Record tourism to Israel in first half of 2010

Tourist numbers rose 39% compared with last year and 10% from the previous record in 2008.

A record 1.6 million tourists visited Israel in the first half of 2010, up 39% compared with the first half of 2009 and up 10% compared with the first half of 2008 - the previous record, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported. June was also a new record for that month, with 259,000 tourists visiting, up 24% from 2009 and 8% from June 2008.

214,000 visitors in June stayed at least one night in Israel, an increase of 19% compared with June 2009 and 4% compared with June 2008. 8,500 visited Israel on cruise ships, a seven-fold increase compared with June 2009 and 2.7 times more than June 2008.

The Ministry of Tourism estimates, income from incoming tourism (excluding air travel) reached $1.55 billion in the first half of 2010. This figure is about 35% higher than the income from tourism in the first half of 2009 and similar to the figure in the first half of 2008.

Minister of Tourism Stas Misezhnikov said, “The increase in incoming tourism during the first half of this year should not be taken for granted. It is the result of massive investment in marketing activities around the world with significant budgets, especially against the background of the public diplomacy challenges that Israel is facing."

The Central Bureau of Statistics also reported that 1.7 million Israelis traveled abroad in the first half of 2010, up 9% from 1.5 million last year. In June 322,000 Israelis traveled abroad compared with 310,000 in June 2009.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 12, 2010

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2010

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