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      Tourism to Israel Set to Break Records

      262,000 visitors entered Israel in June 2011– a record for the month of June. In the first half of 2011, 1.6 million visitors arrived in Israel.
      By Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 7/11/2011, 3:35 PM / Last Update: 7/11/2011, 3:52 PM

      courtesy of Israel Ministr

      Records in tourism: According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, 262,000 visitors entered Israel in June 2011 (tourists and day visitors) – a record for the month of June with 1percent more than June 2010 and 25 percent more than June 2009.

      An all-time record-high was also recorded in June for incoming tourists who stayed in Israel for more than one night – 228,300 (about 87 percent of all visitors) and an increase of 7 percent over June 2010 and 4 percent over June 2008.
       
      In the first half of 2011, 1.6 million visitors arrived in Israel, similar to the 1.63 million of the same period last year, which was Israel’s record-breaking year for incoming tourism. The number of tourists was 1.4 million, 4 percent more than the same period last year; 213,000 were day visitors, 27 percent less than the same period last year. Of these visitors, 96,000 were cruise visitors, about double the number of the previous year. 40,900 tourists arrived on direct flights to Eilat for the purpose of vacationing – an impressive 38 percent increase over the first half of 2010.
       
      Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov said, “Incoming tourism to Israel registered a significant achievement in the first half of 2011. In the shadow of the local and regional crises, which had a direct effect on the region’s image, the tourism industry has succeeded in maintaining incoming tourism and even increasing it. The intensive investment around the world, both in increased marketing  budgets and public advocacy activities by Tourism Ministry representatives, has succeeded in challenging the potential tourist to visit Israel and to present Israel as a safe, quality and attractive destination.”
       
      The minister noted that, in the last half of 2011, the ministry will continue its focused marketing activities internationally, supported by a NIS 100 million budget.