Tourism Jumps Nearly 40 Percent in November

A passenger waiting by his luggage in the departure hall at Israel's Ben Gurion International Airport. (Flash90)
A passenger waiting by his luggage in the departure hall at Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport. (Flash90)

YERUSHALAYIM - Once considered a “dead” month from a tourist perspective, November has emerged as a major tourism opportunity for Israel. The numbers for November 2016 are in – and compared to November a year before, 38 percent more tourists visited Israel this year, a total of 287,900 people.

That brings the running annual total of tourism to Israel through December 1st to 2,651,400, 2 percent more than at the end of November 2015. Tourism officials had been hoping to reach 3 million tourists by the end of the year, but admitted that the totals would likely fall short of that figure.

But Tourism Minister Yariv Levin was still very satisfied with the statistics of his office, he said in a statement Thursday. “Our intensive marketing efforts, especially in new markets for us like China and India, together with our campaigns appealing to residents of countries where the winter is in full force, all came together to help the November totals. We intend to continue with these activities and further increase tourism traffic in Israel.”

It’s worthwhile remembering, Levin said, that the income to Israel from tourism in November alone was NIS 1.5 billion, NIS 400 million more than in November 2015. “That latter sum is the amount we spend in a year to promote tourism to Israel,” Levin said. “The results are further evidence of the great potential for tourism growth in Israel, and how new and bold projects and programs can bring great benefit to the Israeli economy.”