An overwhelming number of tourists absolutely loved their time in Israel, according to an Israel Ministry of Tourism annual report. The in-depth government survey collected from 15,000 tourists to Israel from January to December 2018 reveals that a full 93 percent of visitors found their experience in the country as “good to excellent.”
As could be expected, 77.5 percent of the tourists visited Jerusalem. Tel Aviv is the second most popular place with 67.4 percent, and the Dead Sea and Galilee are also high on the list of places to visit while in Israel.
Most of the visitors identified themselves as “Christian” (54.9 percent) with only 27.5 percent saying they are “Jewish.” Even so, the Western Wall, which dates back to the days of the Temple in the Old City of Jerusalem, was the most visited site in the Land with over 71 percent of all Christians and Jews spending time at the holiest site in Judaism.
An important statistic that reflects the growing popularity of Israel among the Nations, is that more than half of all visitors (53.2 percent) said their opinion of Israel improved during their visit. Amazingly, with all the complaints and criticisms one hears about the Jewish Nation in the news, just 1.5 percent of the people who came to visit said their view of Israel changed for the worse!
It was also surprising to discover that touring Israel costs less. The average tourist did not spend as much in 2018 ($1,402) as in the previous year ($1,421 during their visit in 2017). With all the talk of high prices and expensive hotels, it looks like Israel is still a bargain. Of course, these expenses do not include airfare, but nonetheless, even with the fair prices, tourism boosted Israel’s economy in 2018 over $5.93 billion.
According to Israel Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin, “The year 2018 was a record year for incoming tourism to Israel, with more than 4 million tourists,” he said. “The constant increase in incoming tourism is a result of the ministry’s new marketing strategy, and we see a continuation of this upward momentum in 2019.”