June Tourism Numbers Up 18% Over Last Year

YERUSHALAYIM -
An El Al airline plane at Ben Gurion International Airport. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)

A total of 365,000 tourists entered Israel in June, 18% more than in June 2018, the Tourism Ministry announced. Between January and June of this year, Israel has hosted 2.265 million foreign visitors, an increase over the 2.063 million who visited the country in the first six months of 2018.

According to the ministry, tourism enriched the Israeli economy by NIS 1.9 billion in June. Since the beginning of the year, Israel has gained NIS 11.7 billion from tourism. Most of the tourists stayed in Yerushalayim and Tel Aviv.

Israel got its largest number of visitors from Europe in June. The continent was responsible for 177,500 tourists in June, 19% more than in 2018. Germany alone was responsible for 21,200 of the visitors, 47% more than in June 2018. Portugal supplied 2,000 tourists, double the number that came in June 2018. Officials said that that was due to the opening of an air route between Lisbon and Tel Aviv by Portugese airline TAP. France was overall responsible for the biggest number of tourists from a European country, with 27,300 arriving.

North America in June supplied 132,000 visitors, the majority from the U.S. That figure was 11% higher than in June 2018. More travelers now have direct flight access to Israel thanks to new routes opened by El Al in several U.S. cities, including San Francisco and Las Vegas. United has also added a direct flight from Washington DC. From Asia, meanwhile, came 31,500 visitors, with 14,000 coming from Japan – double the number of last June.