Israel, for the second consecutive year, has broken its tourism record in India along with reaching three million tourist arrival mark this year. More than 49,000 Indians have already visited Israel until October, 2017 marking a growth of 34 per cent from January to October vis-a-vis the same period last year, according to statistics released by Israel Ministry of Tourism.
Hassan Madah, director, Israel Ministry of Tourism India said, “This has been the best year of incoming tourist arrivals for Israel and India continues to be an important contributor for us. Our effort towards promoting Israel as a dynamic holiday destination as opposed to its otherwise restricted perception as a religious destination is yielding positive results and we are witnessing successful outcomes of our increased investments in the India market. Tourism is an important contributor to the Israeli economy and since the beginning of the year, tourism has brought in US$ 4.1 billion into the economy. In 2016, 45,000 Indians visited Israel and we have surpassed that number by October itself this year. We hope to have 60,000 Indian arrivals to Israel by end of 2017.”
Israel Tourism Minister Yariv Levin recently welcomed the three millionth tourist Ioana Isac accompanied by her partner, Mihai Georgescu from Romania with a festive reception ceremony at the airport. Levin and Tourism Ministry director-general Amir Halevi then accompanied the couple to a limousine, as they set off for a holiday experience prepared by the Tourism Ministry of Israel.
The trip started off with a surprise by the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who met the couple and took them through a private tour of the Old city of Jerusalem, starting with the Tower of David museum to the ancient fort that traces its foundations back to the Second Temple Period in the first century BC.
As Israel reaches its all-time record, and 2017 is expected to close as Israel’s record year for incoming tourism, Levin said, “This is a special day and an historic milestone as we break the three-million-tourist barrier and we are set to end the year with an amazing achievement, the likes of which have never been reached since the establishment of the state. The huge investment that we are making in marketing Israel around the world and our collaborations with airlines and tour operators is bearing fruit.”
The Ministry of Tourism worked with several airlines to increase their flights and seat capacity into Israel. In light of the significant increase in incoming tourism and the desire to lower the vacationing costs in Israel, several reforms are designed to increase supply in the tourism industry. This includes increased assistance for constructing new hotels in Israel and new opportunities for international entrepreneurs to build hotels in the country.