Incoming tourism in November set an all-time record, with 287,900 tourists visiting Israel, 38% more than in November 2015. 2,651,400 tourists visited Israel in January-November 2016, 2% more than in the corresponding period last year. Most of the tourists came by air, with only 34,000 tourists coming by land, mostly from Jordan.
Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin attributes the record to his ministry's marketing efforts in new countries, such as India and China, which "together with focused campaigns for the winter season, caused a record rise in incoming tourism in November."
Levin added, "Our goal is to continue the focused campaigns in order to meet the challenge of creating a continuous increase in tourist traffic. This is proof of the tourist industry's enormous potential, and that the innovative measures we are taking are making an immediate substantial contribution to the Israeli economy."
The tourist figures are having an effect on the economy. Ministry of Tourism figures show that tourism generated over NIS 1.5 billion in revenue for the Israeli economy in November, an increase of NIS 400 million over the revenue generated in October 2015. "This amount almost equals Israel's entire annual tourism marketing budget," Levin remarked.
A relaxation of regulatory restrictions for hoteliers was approved today, in the hope of bolstering competition, thereby lowering the cost of overnights in Israel, which is among the highest in the world. Together with the winter campaign of direct flights to Ovda Airport, which included incentives for airlines, it is hoped that the upward trend in incoming tourism will persist, subject, of course, to the security situation, which could reverse this improvement.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 8, 2016
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