Tourism to Israel keeps on breaking records!

Those record numbers for Israeli tourism keep a-tumbling as April sees yet another bumper month – some 317,000 tourists visited the Holy Land! That’s up some 26% on last year and is now the all-time record for April. It also means that just over ONE MILLION tourists have visited Israel in the first four months of 2010.

The Central Bureau of Statistics released figures that yesterday confirmed an increase of some 31% in the number of tourists staying for more than one night over the same opening four months of last year. Even the Icelandic ash cloud couldn’t put a dampener on the numbers – there was an increase in visitors arriving by plane (12% up on 2009 and 5% up on 2008).

As a result of all these tourists flooding in to Israel, the number of tourist dollars actually spent in Israel (and not on air fare) has increased some 30% over the same period last year. That’s an estimated $695 million! I got to set me up a hotel, and quick!

Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov had this to say:

The constant growth in incoming tourism over recent months, alongside the increase in revenues and employment in the tourism industry, sharpens the tourism ministry’s contribution to the Israeli economy which creates direct employment for about 90,000 and indirect employment for about 160,000 in all areas of the Israeli economy.  An increase in incoming tourism has an immediate effect of millions of dollars on the economy’s income and the creation of new jobs, most of which, conspicuously and significantly, are in the periphery.

It’s going to be a very long, hot summer – grab that spot on the beach before someone else does!

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