The 2018 Inbound Tourism Survey from the Israel Ministry of Tourism has just been published based on responses from 15,000 tourists and the results are mostly encouraging. Here are some of the details:

    93% of tourists ranked their visit as good to excellent
    Revenue from incoming tourism: about NIS 20.88 billion (excluding flight costs)
    53.2% of tourists said that their views on Israel changed for the better after visiting the country; 41% said the visit did not change their minds and 1.5% said that the visit changed their views for the worst
    Jerusalem is the most visited city (77.5%); the most visited site is the Western Wall (71.6%)
    Average expenditure per tourist in Israel: $1,402 per stay (excluding flight costs)
    Over 40% of tourists had visited Israel at least once
    Approximately 64.8% of the tourists arrived in Israel independently (FITs)
    8.7% stayed in a rented apartment

Commenting on these figures, Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said, “The year 2018 was a record year for incoming tourism to Israel, with more than 4 million tourists. Most tourists said that their impression of Israel changed for the better and almost half came for a return visit.”

Levin claimed that the constant increase in incoming tourism “is a result of the ministry’s new marketing strategy,” which is certainly within the bounds of reason. One thing is for sure. Israel is witnessing a continuation of this upward trend in 2019.

Findings from the annual report include:

Revenue from incoming tourism in 2018 is estimated at NIS 20.88 billion (excluding flight costs)  The most visited city: Jerusalem in first place with 77.5% of all tourists, followed by Tel Aviv (67.4%), Dead Sea (48%) and Tiberias (36.2%).

Satisfaction with the visit: 93.3% of tourists ranked their visit as good to excellent. Average expenditure per tourist in Israel: The average expenditure per tourist in Israel is estimated at $1,402 per stay (excluding flight costs), compared with $1,421 the previous year. These costs include:

$657 on accommodation (as opposed to $630 in 2017), $236 on transportation and tours ($242 in 2017), other costs (including entertainment, medical, and miscellaneous) $148, as opposed to $171 in 2017; $155 on shopping (as opposed to $165; and $207 on food and beverages (as opposed to $213 in 2017).

Changing perceptions of Israel: 53.2% of tourists said that their views on Israel changed for the better after visiting the country, 45.6% said the visit did not change their minds, and 1.2% said that the visit had changed their perceptions for the worse.

The most visited sites: Four of the five most visited sites in Israel are located in Jerusalem: -the Western Wall (71.6%), the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (52.2%), 50.1% of tourists visited Old Jaffa;  Via Dolorosa in fourth place (47.4%) and the Mount of Olives (46.8%). 37.7% visited the Tel Aviv Port, 30.9% visited the Jewish Quarter in the Old City, 26.8% Masada, 26.6% Capernaum and 25.3% visited Caesarea.

Age of Tourist: 20.7% of tourists were aged 24 and under, 35.8% were between the ages 25-44, 19.4% between 45-54 and 24.1% aged 55 and over.

Religious affiliation: More than half of the tourists visiting Israel are Christian (54.9%), over a quarter are Jewish (27.5%), and approximately 2.4% are Muslim. 42.8% of all Christians were Catholic and 30.6% Protestant.

The purpose of their visit: 24.3% defined their visit for pilgrimage purposes, 21.3% for touring and sightseeing, 30% for relatives and friends, 10.3% for recreation and leisure, 8.9% for business and delegations, and 1.2% for other purposes.

The best maintained sites in Israel: Tourists ranked Tel Aviv port (31.3%) as the best maintained site in Israel, Masada came second (26.2%) and Tel Aviv Museum of Art came third (21.1%).

Source of information: 19% of tourists said that they had received information about Israel from a travel agent or tour operator, 18.6% from relatives / friends and 62.5% from other sources.

Tourism Ministry Director-General Amir Halevi noted that the increases in incoming tourism in 2018 are continuing into 2019. “Approximately 365,000 tourist entries were recorded in June 2019, 17.7% more than June 2018 and 20.5% more than June 2017.  In the period January – June 2019, 2.265 million tourist entries were recorded, as opposed to 2.063 million in the same period last year, an increase of 9.8%. Revenue from incoming tourism in June stood at NIS 1.9 million and, since the beginning of the year, at NIS 11.7 million.”


The streamlined plane scheduled for commercial use by 2022 is sustainable,

quiet, and emission-free.

The nature reserve has the potential to attract travelers even during the summer months. Initiating tourist attractions in the north in case of closing rivers: The Nature and Parks Authority and the Ministry of Tourism will establish joint working teams to promote tourism and establish promenades in the Hermon region

As part of a joint tour they conducted in the north, the director-general of the Tourism Ministry, Amir Halevi, and director of the Nature and Parks Authority Shaul Goldstein, decided to set up joint work teams to promote tourism and set up summer promenades in the Hermon region, in order to create attractive alternatives for trips in the event there is a necessity to close streams due to pollution.

They expressed hope that the rainy season and the approved government plan will not be closed this year due to pollution, and called on the Health Ministry to reexamine the pollution indices and adjust them so that the closure of streams will not be repeated.

The two bodies see the Hermon site and the nature reserve surrounding it as a major tourist anchor in the north, attracting about 400,000 visitors every year, especially during the winter months. The bodies believe that the nature reserve and the ski resort at its center have the potential to attract travelers even during the summer months, with pleasant weather for walks, spectacular scenery and unique blossoms. In the meantime, proposals are being made for the development of a campsite by the lower parking lot of the Hermon site, which is located near the exit to the Golan Trail, as well as bicycle riding routes.

This tour and the planned joint activity are part of a fruitful and ongoing cooperation between the Ministry of Tourism and the Nature and Parks Authority to promote tourism and promenades in Israel through a variety of joint projects throughout the country, and to identify additional development and attraction levers to the north.


Foreign tourists accounted for 49% of the total proceeds, of which 63% came from hotels in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Proceeds rose 7% in Tel Aviv and 10% in Jerusalem. 42% of the proceeds from Israeli vacationers came from hotels in Eilat and at the Dead Sea.

Proceeds totaled NIS 524 million from hotels in Jerusalem and NIS 520 million from hotels in Tel Aviv, of which NIS 361 million came from foreign tourists. Proceeds from hotels in Eilat totaled NIS 435 million, of which NIS 361 million came from Israeli tourists. Proceeds from hotels at the Dead Sea totaled NIS 210 million, and proceeds from hotels in Tiberias totaled NIS 153 million.

Israel had 420 hotels in the first quarter with an aggregate 55,000 rooms, compared with 411 hotels in the first quarter of 2018. Occupancy averaged 64%, the same as in the corresponding quarter last year. Foreign tourist overnights grew by 9%.

The number of jobs in tourist hotels averaged 38,000 a month, down 2.6%, compared with the corresponding period last year.11% of the workers were employed through personnel agencies. The average salary per job for hotel workers was NIS 8,000, NIS 1,000 more on the average than those employed through personnel agencies.

The figures also show that the proceeds per tourist totaled $113 per night. The Central Bureau of Statistics also said that the first quarter of the year usually has the lowest proceeds per night of any time of year.

Although most of the foreign tourists stayed in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Tiberias also had 22% more foreign tourists in the first quarter than in the first quarter of last year. More Israeli also went to Tiberias: proceeds from Israelis at hotels in Tiberias grew 12% in the first quarter of 2019. Proceeds from Israelis rose 4% in Eilat, but fell 11% at the Dead Sea.


                            26 Tammuz-3 Av, 5779                                     July 29-Aug. 4, 2019 -- THE JEWISH OBSERVER, LOS ANGELES --  627th Web Ed.


 SUMMER BREAK. NEXT ISSUE 08/26/2019 - CHECK BACK                                                                                               


The Jewish Observer,

Los Angeles


Jewish journal that provides coverage of Los Angeles Jewish news regardless of religious faction or nationality.
JEWISH ADVERTISING? E-mail The Los Angeles Jewish Observer(SM) today directly from your mobile phone, at advertising@jewishobserver-la.com, or use the

"Contact Us" Page! The Jewish Observer Los Angeles news.
The Jewish Observer is now viewable from your mobile phones on Androids, iPhones, Window Phones and Blackberries!
Copyright @ 2019, The Jewish Observer, Los Angeles, All Rights Reserved, 5779.