Tourism Poster for Israel
Tourism Poster for IsraelIsrael news photo: courtesy of Israel Ministr

Israel’s Tourism Ministry is showing an impressive record, with figures in May hitting an "all time record for incoming tourism."

Last month saw a five percent increase in the number of tourists and visitors, with 336,000 visitors entering the country.

Of those, 283,000 were tourists who stayed more than one night in the country and included 241,000 who entered the country via airline – six percent more than in May 2012.

There was a five percent drop in the number of tourists who came into the country through the border crossing with Jordan (30,000) and a 12 percent increase in the number of visitors (12,000) who came in through the border crossing with Egypt at Taba, and via Eilat through direct flights.

Since the beginning of this 2013 calendar year, 1.4 million visitors have arrived in Israel, one percent more than in the same period a year ago. Of those, 1.2 million were tourists, representing a one percent drop over last year but still two percent more than in 2011.

"Tourism is an essential economic growth engine for the economy," Tourism Minister Dr. Uzi Landau (Likud) pointed out. "It creates jobs in cities and the periphery, and generates about NIS 30 billion every year for the state coffers. The cancellation of the VAT (sales tax) levy on incoming tourism, the "Open Skies" agreement and supportive government policies represent an important base for the ministry’s activities," he said.

"We have a wonderful tourism product and we must realize its inherent potential; we will work to maintain this upward trend in the future."