Tourism reached record levels in 2019, the Central Bureau of Statistics said. A total of 4.9 million tourists entered Israel during the course of the year, 4.6 million of them by air and the rest via land crossings. That figure was 10.5% higher than in 2018, and 12% higher than in 2017 – making 2019 the biggest-ever year for tourism in Israel. The decade average for annual tourism was 3.2 million, making 2019’s numbers 41% higher than the average for the previous 10 years.
The biggest source of tourism was the United States, with some 21% of all tourists entering Israel hailing from the States. The U.S. was followed by Russia, France, Germany, the U.K., Italy and Ukraine. The CBS said that tourists poured NIS 22.5 billion into the Israeli economy, and were responsible for 13,600 jobs.
Nearly as many Israelis traveled abroad as did tourists who entered. According to the statistics, 4.3 million Israelis traveled abroad during the course of the year. Of those, 2.2 million traveled abroad once during the year, while the rest exited multiple times; altogether, there were 9.2 million exits by Israelis, 8% more than in 2018, the numbers showed.