July 2013: an ALL-TIME record for tourism numbers to Israel!

Dan Eilat viewWe know you keep on coming so it’s no surprise to hear those tourism records keep a-tumbling – July 2013 is the  latest to keep the boffins at the Ministry of Tourism happy!

The month of July saw an all-time record for incoming tourism:  246,000 tourists (staying more than one night) entered Israel in July 2013, which is up 2% on July 2012.

220,000 entries were by air (3% up on last year), while 26,000 arrived through the border crossings, 8% down on last year (largely due to a big fall in those coming from Sinia/Taba into Eilat).

Some 54,000 day visitors (16,000 on cruise ships, 16,000 via land crossings, and 22,000 by air) entered Israel during the month, 24% up on last year.

The year so far, up to and including July is also looking very good, if only very slightly up on last year’s numbers for the same period. More than 2 million visitors have arrived in Israel, meaning yet another record figure for the months Jan-July, and breaking the previous record from 2012.

Of these entries, 1.7 million were tourists, actually 1% down on 2012,   and 1.4 million entries were recorded by air, a slight increase of 0.4% compared to the same period in 2012. The numbers are up thanks to the increase in day visitors, some 10% up on the same period last year (139,000 came on cruise ships, 27% up on 2012, 148,000 came via the border crossings, down 9% on 2012, and 70,000 by air, a 34% increase).

With so many things to see and do in Israel, we’re not at all surprised. Hopefully we’ve down our little bit to convince even more of you to come visit the Holy Land! :-)


  1. Janine Federowicz

    August 31, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    I traveled to Israel July 7-17th, spending 2 nights in Tel Aviv, 4 nights in Jerusalem, one night at the Fauzi Azar Inn,Nazareth, two nights in Tiberius, and one night in Haifa. (my only ‘hotel’ night.) I had such an amazing time. I went to ‘walk where Jesus walked’, to learn more about the country (its history) the struggle between Pal. and Israel, having a sister-in law from Russia and Israel, and a boyfriend from Pakistan; I went to see why God chose this land to reveal Himself to, and through. Bottom line, everyone needs a safe space to live and respect. Most people are good and don’t want to hurt others. Family is important to all, and meeting everyone’s basic needs should be something all God-loving, God-fearing people should strive to ensure. I met so many lovely people, Mohammed on the Mt. of Olives who shared his boiled eggs with me, as well as his Nan (sp.); the lovely storekeepers in the red-roofed neighborhood of Tel Aviv on my hike to Old Jaffa, my Christian cab driver Charlie who took me to Bethlehem, Jericho, and other sites, the wonderful fellow who drove me to Yardenet (River Jordan) whose wife had written her dissertation on the state of women in Israel (comparing 1928 circa to now-). And of course all the folks from around the world that I met at the hostels and did some of the Abraham tours with. (Odem Winery, Golan Heights, Masada Sunrise…all just wonderful.) I really do pray for peace in Israel, for the world, in Syria (as we heard bombs from afar as we stopped in the Golan Heights). The BEST fish ever-St. Peter’s Fish on the Sea of Galilee. My brother died in May, 46, out of the blue, and his Russian father-in law Mark, inspired me to go. It was my dream to go, and I went, and I am thankful to God. The Bahai Gardens and Galena (Russian girl) whom I met at Elijah’s Cave and spent the day with. . .Golgotha, getting caught up in the Muslim entourage their first Friday during Ramadan as they headed towards the mosque. The fellow who was Israeli who said, ‘we’re ‘tired of religion’,we’ve been overexposed to religion, and the Holocaust was not that long ago,’ (Yad Vashem, a hard,but necessary day, and God bless every single person that perished there), the question? is it, ‘how far back do we want to go in history to say whose land it is?’ or can we say, ‘God made man (not some men) man/woman in His own image.’ And being a Christian of course I have to say, ‘Jesus came for all so that none would perish,’ His atoning sacrifice on the cross covers us with His grace inviting us to love, forgive, accept His sacrifice (where He, in His ‘humanness’ even pleaded in the Garden of Gethsemane, ‘if you could please take this cup(3x)…but not mine, but Your will be done.’ Yes, what if we all believed that, in who Christ said He was. ‘The Father sent Me,’ He repeats throughout His ministry, and God, the Father, invites us all home to Him. The sites I saw confirmed my beliefs, and brought to life the Bible. Old Nazareth Village, reading the book ‘When your neighbor is the Savior’, wonderful book, the friendly Muslim folks in Nazareth who allowed me the slush frozen coffee when I had no cash, who ‘fed’ me when again,I was running out of money (no one wants traveler’s checks and hardly any will cash them). Everyone was raised to believe a certain way. We all come from different places and have to be respectfully tolerant. If we believe our ‘religion’ is the only way, only through expressions of love and respect and ‘speaking the truth in love’, is that message, and that ‘message-giver’ ever going to be heard. Thank you God for all the wonderful people I met, including the Druze soldiers, the Bedouin Family of six and the man who sold me the necklace in the desert and wrapped the head scarf around me as well. People are the same all over the world. We don’t need much,food clothing, shelter, a few good friends, love and support from family, and to live in peace, and an activity (work, purpose) that gives us meaning. This world with all its sin WIll not last forever, and I pray if you’re still reading this, is that what I learned in Israel, is that people want and need the same things. Love, respect, space, to live in peace, to be free to come and go. Jesus taught us many good things; read His Word, be inspired, ‘love your neighbor as yourself, and love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul, and all your strength.’ I will do as I’m commanded in the Psalms which David wrote, and whom is someone Jews, Muslims, and Christians believe in,
    ‘Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you.” (Psalms 122:6). I loved Jerusalem, the Old City, Ein Gedi,the beach at Tel Aviv at night where I swam with Michaeli from Serbia and had a spontaneous picnic with a nice couple from near Tel Aviv, who ‘dated’ once a week in a beautiful spot without their children. (lovely bread she made). I have all these names written down, but as a whole, thank you to the people who gave me directions and were kind, so many, from all religions.I love Israel and will definitely return, God-willing.

    • Ashley

      September 1, 2013 at 8:07 am

      Glad you enjoyed your stay Janine!

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