Chinese Tourists Return to Israel

Hainan Airlines
A Hainan Airlines Boeing 737-800.

After months in which there was a significant reduction in the number of Chinese tourists entering Israel – due to a travel warning issued by Beijing – the number of tourists from China in the first quarter of 2019 shot up. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2018, there was an increase of 80% in the number of Chinese tourists coming to Israel during that period. In 2018, a total of 105,000 Chinese tourists came to Israel, with 42,000 coming in the first quarter of 2019.

Part of the reason for the jump was an aggressive advertising campaign by the Tourism Ministry. The campaign, consisting of ads on one of China’s biggest social media platforms, was seen by 320 million people. In addition, the ministry has been providing subsidies to Chinese airlines that opened routes to Israel, thereby incentivizing them to bring more tourists here.

A ministry study indicates that the average Chinese tourist spends $1,616 on a visit to Israel, staying an average of six nights. Of those that came to Israel, 63.8% said they were visiting as tourists, while 20% said they were here on business.

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