By Mara Vigevani/TPS
The number of tourists visiting Israel continued to soar during the first half of 2018, with some 2.1 million tourist entries recorded between January to June, a 19% increase over last year, the Ministry of Tourism and the Central Bureau of Statistics said in a joint release Monday.
“The marketing efforts and activities that we are spearheading in the ministry are leading us to new records; for the first time, we have crossed the 2 million-visitor threshold for tourist entries over the course of half a year, ” said Tourism Minister Yariv Levin. “I am pleased to see that the first half of the year has borne the fruit of our intensive marketing endeavors and activities around the world. “
The increase is partially due to an increasing number of flights from Europe to Eilat, with new airlines joining the trend, the ministry said.
In June alone, 310,200 tourists entered the country, a 2% increase from last year and 31% more than 2016. Most arrived by air (280,200), 25% more than June 2016.
Since the beginning of the year, tourism has injected more than NIS 12 billion into the Israeli economy.