Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov: "Despite the global economic crisis and the complex geopolitical situation in our region, the Tourism Ministry has succeeded in neutralizing negative influences and has achieved new records for incoming tourism."

 Record for incoming tourism in first third of 2012


Tel Aviv beach (Photo courtesy Israel Ministry of Tourism)

(Communicated by the Ministry of Tourism)

Following the record-breaking month of April 2012 for incoming tourism, the first third of 2012 (January-April) has also broken new records for incoming tourism. 933,000 tourists visited Israel during Jan-April 2012, 4% more than the record set for the same period last year. The largest increase in incoming tourism was registered among visitors from the Far East, with 62,000 tourists arriving between Jan-April 2012 (27% more than the same period in 2011 and 30% more than in 2010). The main growth came from India, with 12,000 tourists during the first third of 2012 – 32% more than the same period last year and 16% more than 2010.

Numbers of tourists from the USA are also on the rise. After a decline in 2011 as a result of the global economic crisis and the geopolitical situation in the region, 190,000 tourists came to Israel from the USA in Jan-April 2012 (4% increase). A 12% increase in the numbers of tourists arriving from Canada, Southern and Central America was recorded. 14,000 tourists arrived from Brazil alone, 16% more than 2011 and 20% more than 2010.

Other impressive increases were recorded among the developing countries in terms of tourism, with a 14% increase in tourism from China. A 3% increase was recorded from Russia (112,000 tourists during Jan-April 2012). The European countries are also showing positive trends in incoming tourism: In Holland, where NIS 8 million were invested in direct flights to Eilat, a 37% increase was recorded over 2011 and 41% over 2010. There was a 3% increase in incoming tourism from Italy, with 38,000 tourists in the first 4 months of 2012.