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May 31, 2016 / 23 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘tourism’

More Than Three Million Tourists Visited Israel In 2015

Monday, January 11th, 2016

By Michael Bachner/TPS

A total of 3.1 million tourists visited Israel in the year 2015, according to figures released on Monday, January 11 by the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. Additionally, an all-time record was set in the number of Israeli departures abroad with almost six million departures.

The number of tourist arrivals represents a 4% decrease compared to 2014. The number of incoming tourists gradually increased between January and September, but the number plummeted from October to December due to the security situation caused by the upsurge in terror attacks by Palestinians.

“This past year was challenging because we were still recovering from Operation Protective Edge,” Tourism Ministry Spokesperson Anat Shihor-Aronson told Tazpit Press Service (TPS) last week, referring to the Gaza operation in the summer of 2014. “But we were also very successful as we almost reached the numbers we had in 2013.”

The largest number of incoming tourists in 2015 came from the United States with 637,000 arrivals, representing a 2% increase compared to the 2014 statistic.

A total of 415,000 tourists visited from Russia, representing a 25% decrease compared to the previous year. “We have to take into consideration that Russia is facing an economic crisis so we are still increasing our budget in regards to promoting Israel as a Russian tourist destination,” said Shilor-Aronson to TPS.

Other countries serving as the origin for the largest numbers of tourists visiting Israel in 2015 were France, Germany, the UK, Ukraine and Italy, respectively.

Meanwhile, the number of Israelis traveling abroad set an all-time record. A total of 5.9 million departures by Israeli citizens were recorded in 2015, representing an increase of 15% compared to 2014. More than a quarter of all departures were made during the summer months of July and August.

More than 3 million Israeli citizens traveled abroad during the year, representing a 12% increase over the previous year with 1.2 million of them departing the country more than once.

The CBS estimated the sharp increase in the number of departures to be a result of the introduction of low-cost flights in Israel and a result of the high value of the Israeli currency (the shekel) compared to the US dollar and the Euro.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Temple Mount Visits Down in 2015

Friday, January 8th, 2016

The number of Jews and non-Jews, excluding Muslims, that visited the Temple Mount (Har Habyit in Hebrew) in 2015 dropped from previous years, according to a report in Makor Rishon.

In the case of Jewish visitors, mostly religious, their numbers dipped slightly in 2015, solely due to the police restricting the physical number of Jews allowed onto the Jewish holy site.

Many Jews wait in line for hours at the gates to the Temple Mount, only to be denied entrance by the Israeli police. In addition, All Jewish visitors must receive special instructions from the police and some even undergo body searches.

By the end of 2015, Israeli Police were only allowing 15 religious Jews onto the Temple Mount at any given time, and only during very limited visiting hours, restricting visits to 4 hours a day, 5 days a week.

Looking back to 2010, the number of Jews that went up in 2015 (10,766), was double the number that went up in 2010 (5,658). The demand is rising, but so are the restrictions.

Once on the Temple Mount, Jewish visitors are harassed and assaulted by the Muslims occupying the Jewish holy site, and often visits are forced to be cut short.

For non-Jewish, non-Islamic tourists, the numbers that visited the Temple Mount in 2015 severely dropped to less than half the amount that visited in 2010. This despite the fact that the number of tourists visiting Israel remained steady at around 3 million visitors a year.

In 2010, the number of non-Jewish (non-Muslim) tourists visiting the Temple Mount exceeded 400,000 visitors. In 2015, that number dropped to 193,000.

The reason the numbers of non-Jewish tourists dropped is due to the unpleasant and threatening atmosphere that is created by the Muslims and the Waqf on the Jewish holy site, towards the non-Islamic visitors.

Last year, the Waqf forced a group of Christian tourists off the Temple Mount, because they looked too Jewish.

There are virtually no numerical or time restriction on Muslim visits to Israel’s Temple Mount, except when the Arabs are rioting too much, and then the police may temporarily place age limits for a day.

The Temple Mount is the location of the two Jewish Temples, first built by King Solomon.

Shalom Bear

Egypt Claims Terror not Involved in Explosion of Russian Jet over Sinai

Monday, December 14th, 2015

Egypt has determined that a bomb did not cause the explosion on the Russian Metrojet that exploded on October 31 shortly after taking off from the airport at Sharm el-Sheikh.

The investigators’ conclusions totally contradict Russia’s and may be a handy way of escaping accusations that Egyptian security was lapse or, even worse, that security workers cooperated with terrorists to bring down the plane.

The announcement also may help the tourist industry, seriously damaged since the jet blew up.

Egypt’s announcement Monday that it “found no evidence so far of terrorism or other illegal action linked to the crash that killed all 224 people onboard on October 31” doesn’t make sense considering a statement by investigators last month.

They announced that after having recovering the black box from the plane, they were “90 per cent” sure they heard the sound of a bomb before the crash.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Tourism In Israel Trends Back Upward In 2015

Sunday, September 27th, 2015

By Jonathan Benedek

Tourism in Israel in the past year has made a reported comeback from a downward spiral during and shortly after Operation Protective Edge last Summer.

“The recovery trend after Operation Protective Edge continues apace,” Tourism Minister Yariv Levin stated. “I am pleased to see that the statistics show an increase of over 40% on 2014 and an almost complete return to the 2013 numbers.”

Tourism in Israel took a major hit during Operation Protective Edge and not only because potential tourists cancelled their plans to visit Israel. Many countries including the United States briefly banned flights from traveling to Israel, out of concern that planes were vulnerable to rocket fire from Gaza.

Data from Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics show an increase in tourist entries for August 2015 compared to August 2014. This past August, there were approximately 213,000 tourists, which was 45% more than there were in August 2014. Additionally, there was a 75% increase in day visitors during August 2015, from the previous August.

Meanwhile, the first half of 2015 displayed a significant upward trend as well. From January 2015 through August 2015, 1.69 million tourists flew to Israel. This is only 4% lower than the number of tourists who visited Israel during the first half of 2014 before Operation Protective Edge.

The tourist rebound has encouraged Minister Levin to build on Israel’s tourism industry. “With the increase in the marketing budget, I have given the go-ahead to aggressive and focused marketing campaigns for the winter season in order to secure this welcome upward trend,” said Minister Levin.

“I am convinced that, with hard work, we can see an increase in incoming tourism to Israel,” added Minister Levin.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Thousands Head to Israel for Holidays and Fill Up Hotels

Friday, September 25th, 2015

The High Holiday Israeli vacation season  is one of the nest ever, according to travel officials.

Major hotels in Israel are filled to capacity, and thousands of apartments have been rented to tourists who will be spending the holiday in Israel.

The robust tourist season indicates that tourists are not worried about growing unrest in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.

The officials say that Jerusalem remains the main destination and that many hotels upgraded their kosher offerings to cater to the American kosher tourists. The influx of tourists also spells good news for restaurants, tours, takeout and other related businesses.

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Kosher Today

Israeli Tourism Helps Inscribe Georgian Jewry in the Book of Life

Sunday, September 20th, 2015

It seems that just as the Book of Life might have been closing on the Jewish community in Georgia, Israeli tourism is breathing a second chance into its cities and institutions.

At least three new Jewish restaurants and several new hostels have opened in Georgia’s capital city of Tbilisi due to Israeli tourism, according to Israel’s Tourism Ministry.

The “Restaurant Jerusalem” in central Tbilisi – it’s run by Israeli Georgians – or the King David restaurant, run by native Georgian Jews, which can be found in the courtyard of the synagogue.

Chabad-Lubavitch emissary to Tbilisi Rabbi Meir Kozlovsky says Israelis have found the city to be a new alternative to Turkey.

The spiritual leader of the Great Synagogue of Tbilisi, Rabbi Rachamim Murdukhashvili is also the shochet (ritual slaughterer) of the community.

A second synagogue in Oni, about 120 miles northwest of the city, was visited last month by Prime Minister Iralki Garibashvili to mark its 120th anniversary. But only 16 Jews remain in Oni, and it’s not clear how much longer that community can hang on.

The Georgian government under Garibashvili partly funded renovations at both synagogues, calling Georgia “the second homeland of the Jewish people.”

The traditions of the Jewish community in the country go back as far as 1,500 years, although today there are just 4,000 Jews left in Georgia.

A veritable tidal wave of some 60,000 new tourists are now visiting the country annually, according to the Tourism Ministry, tripling the number that visited Tbilisi in 2010 – when Turkey severed ties with Israel.

Israeli Jewish tourists have been searching for a new tourism “hot spot” ever since the bottom fell out of tourism to Turkey, the annual vacation destination everyone chose.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s rage at Israel had escalated step by step since the 2006 Second Lebanon War over the IDF’s defense of southern Israeli communities from Gaza terrorist attacks.

It finally reached the breaking point in 2010 over the deaths of nine violent Turkish terror activists in clashes with IDF commandos they attacked when they boarded a flotilla vessel that had brazenly attempted to illegally breach Israel’s maritime blockade of Gaza.

Countless attempts by diplomats and others on both sides since to heal the broken ties have only been partly successful; each time there appears to be any chance of renewal of ties, Erdogan appears to deliberately sabotage the effort with anti-Semitic rhetoric.

Thus the Israeli public has made its peace with the fact that at least for now, Turkey is no longer likely to return as a popular tourism destination; it is clear “from the top” that Israelis are neither liked nor wanted there.

Hana Levi Julian

Ben Gurion Airport Hits Peak in Passenger Traffic

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

Approximately 70,000 passengers on 430 flights will have passed through Ben Gurion Airport by the end of Thursday, making it the busiest day of the year so far.

Tourism is up by approximately 7 percent, and 1.7 million passengers are expected to arrive and depart at the airport next month.

Israel suffered a sharp decline in tourism last August and September during Operation Protective Edge and now is rebounding.

Turkey, which Israel sunned two years ago after worsening relations, is back in favor and follows Greece as the favorite destination. Next in line are Italy and the year.
Slightly more than a quarter of passengers fly El Al.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ben-gurion-airport-hits-peak-in-passenger-traffic/2015/07/23/

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