Poll: Israelis More Interested in Visiting New York Than Any Other City

Travelers seen at the departure hall of Ben Gurion Airport. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)

YERUSHALAYIM - If Israelis could get on a plane and tell the pilot to take them anywhere, most of them would direct that pilot to New York, a new poll shows. According to the poll, taken by the Smith organization in advance of the IMTM International Travel Fair that will take place in Israel next week, 38 percent of Israelis would choose New York City as the place they would most like to visit abroad.

The poll asked participants which two destinations they were most interested in visiting, and behind New York was Thailand, which 31 percent of Israelis would like to visit – far ahead of the third-place choice, London, which logged 18 percent as the preferred international destination. London was followed by Barcelona (16 percent), Amsterdam (13 percent), Rome (10 percent), Prague (9 percent), Berlin and Paris (8 percent each), and Greece (7 percent). The results were based on a sample of 5,000 Israeli Jewish adults of all backgrounds.

New York was most popular among women, 39 percent of whom said they wanted to visit the city, as opposed to 36 percent of men. New York was also tops among adults between 30 and 49 years of age, 42 percent of whom said that they would choose the city as their prime destination. New York was also the first choice of the religious and chareidi traveler (42 percent) over secular travelers (38 percent). Chareidim also were much more favorably disposed to London than the rest of the population (26 percent vs. 18 percent) as well as Prague (20 percent vs. 7 percent).

There was one place that no one, of any population group, was interested in visiting – and that was Turkey, once a prime destination for Israelis. Turkey did not register even 1 percent among any group as a preferred destination.