Over 8 Million Israelis Travel Overseas in 2018

A plane takes off from Ben Gurion International Airport. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)

The number of exits by Israelis from Ben Gurion airport doubled in the past seven years, the Tourism Ministry said. In 2012, there were 4.35 million exits from the country to destinations abroad, while in 2018 through December 1, there were 8.5 million exits. The figures refer to the total number of exits, not individuals, who left the country on trips abroad.

The number one destination of Israelis traveling abroad is to the United States, with New York, the U.S. city with the most incoming flights, the main port of entry for Israelis. Following New York, the most popular destination was Greece, which saw significant growth in Israeli tourism in 2018. Other destinations that were very popular in the past year were Warsaw, Italy, Ukraine, Germany, Zanzibar and London.

Speaking to Yediot Acharonot, Ronen Carraso, head of travel group ISSTA, said that the lower exchange rates – which make tickets denominated in foreign currencies cheaper in shekel terms. “Half of the cost of a trip abroad is for tickets and hotels, and the other half is for expenses at the destination. In addition, the plethora of flights and increased competition has brought the prices for flights down,” Carraso said.