Tourism to Israel Continues to Triumph
While the world’s news is filled with reports of violence and political unrest, these concerns are evidently not holding people back from travelling. According to the World Tourism Organization, global tourism remains strong overall. The 2016 visitor arrival statistics prove that Israel is no exception.
Upon the release of 2016’s visitor arrival statistics, it was revealed that Israel saw an overall increase in tourism of 3.6% compared to the previous year. Prior to 2016, Israel received the majority of its tourists from countries such as Russia and the United States. In spite of a dramatic 31% decrease in visitors from Russia, Israel’s overall tourism continued to climb. This can be attributed largely to a significant increase in visitors from Asia and North America. The United States is the biggest contributors to the success of tourism in Israel with a staggering 672,071 travelers in 2016. Travelers from Asia have also played a role in this increased tourism with an astounding surge of 25% more travelers than 2015. The highest number of Asian visitors hailed from China and India.
This rate of change can be credited in large part to the 500 million NIS marketing budget the Ministry of Tourism had to work with this past year. This is the largest amount allocated to marketing the Israeli Ministry of Tourism has ever been granted. A significant portion of this budget was aimed at expanding to new markets such as China, India, and the Philippines. Another considerable portion of the budget was aimed toward expanding the appeal of Israel from strictly a biblical destination to an enticing vacation spot. While the majority of travelers continues to be religious pilgrims seeking to explore the holy sites, there has also been a boom in travelers seeking the exciting night life, pristine beaches, world renowned cuisine, and cultural melting pot that Israel offers.
Despite worrisome headlines in the news, tourist buses continue to fill up with no sign of slowing down and our Israel tours continue to offer life-changing experiences. Perhaps this is due to the incredible safety record that remains strong among tourists even though such conflicts continue to occur. Reputable companies such as America Israel Tours are taking diligent measures to ensure the sustained record of traveler safety, which in turn leads to a continued increase in tourism. Safety procedures such as calling ahead to assess the current conditions at each of the sites lined up on the itinerary and consistently checking in with the police and tourist office for potential updates are being implemented daily.
Those who do not allow fear and alarming reports overwhelm their sense of adventure find that they can continue to travel without regret. We certainly cannot ignore the current circumstances of our world, but when travelers venture out to their favorite destinations they are met with far more experiences of kindness and hospitality than danger and hate.