A total of 3.1 million Israelis traveled abroad in the first half of 2017, a 14 percent increase over the figure for the first half of 2016. According to the figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics, 2.9 million Israelis traveled by air, 15 percent more than during the same period a year earlier.
June alone saw 648,000 Israelis travel abroad in 703 passages out of the country. Of those, some 24,000 people traveled abroad twice during that month. Of the exits, 650 were by air and the rest were land or ship exits.
Between January 1 and June 30, 1.74 million tourists entered Israel, 26 percent more than during the same period in 2016. In June there were 303,400 tourists entering Israel, 25.7 percent more than in June 2016. The country that has supplied the largest number of tourists to Israel in 2017 so far has been the United States, which sent 400,000 visitors to Israel. In second place was Russia, from where 160,800 tourists have arrived since the beginning of the year. That was significantly higher than the amount in the first half of 2016, when just 122,400 tourists came from Russia to Israel; the 31 percent increase between last year and this year was due to the stronger ruble. In third place was France, which since the beginning of 2017 has sent 141,000 visitors to Israel.
Other notable countries from which visitors hailed were China and Romania, the CBS numbers indicate. A total of 60,000 visitors have come from China so far this year – an increase of 75 percent over the first half of 2016. Romania supplied 37,000 tourists, but that figure was 56 percent higher than for the same period a year earlier, the CBS said.