Israel smashes tourism records with nearly 3 million visitors in 2016
Tourism is one of the largest industries around the world and for just about any country it’s essential to their very survival. For Israel, this is actually becoming even more important and it’s actually becoming even more profitable as well. In fact, in the last three months the country hit an all-time high in the amount of people who visited as a tourist in the region.
Understanding the Numbers & Changing Tourism Landscape in Israel
In 2016, Israel saw nearly 3 million tourists entering different parts of the country, a 3.6% increase over the previous year. Through tourism has been a big part of Israel’s economy in previous years, it began increasing over each month of the previous year, with over 250,000 tourists entering the country in the last month of the year alone. Unfortunately, however, it’s believed that these all-time high numbers are going to start going back down as recent events start to lay claim to people’s interest in travel, especially to areas of the Middle East.
The Effects on Tourism
Recent attacks in Jerusalem are expected to have a negative effect on the amount of tourists that choose to enter the country. This is based on previous occasions where attacks and terrorism have resulted in dramatic decreases and problems for the tourism of the country. In this instance, however, Israel is looking to make some changes to their marketing as a result of these attacks. For this process the Ministry of Tourism is doubling their efforts to market the country as a great place to travel, hoping to assure tourists that it’s still a safe place to be.
The Minister of Tourism himself, Yariv Levin, has stated that he believes the increase in tourism is a direct result of increased marketing that has already occurred. By increasing the budget even further, and increasing new campaigns, Levin believes that the country is going to be even more popular. He believes that the Middle East conflicts have not yet caused too much problem in regards to the tourism and that hopefully the increase will continue. But this is going to require increased budgets and continuously adapting marketing programs.
India and China were the main target of the increased budget and the marketing that paints Israel as an excellent place for far more than just a yearly pilgrimage. In fact, it’s being marketed as a place to take city breaks, leisure and entertainment. Rather than people taking these trips as large groups as they have done in the past, however, most people tend to take these trips independently now, with approximately 60% of people traveling alone and using an agency to help them with planning the trip.
What Happens Next?
With more people traveling to the area from a variety of different countries, including China, Croatia, Belarus, Malaysia, the Philippines, the USA and Russia, among others, it’s definitely becoming an excellent place to be. Budgets are increased for China and India, but they are being enacted in countries like Spain, Netherlands, and Scandinavia for the first time in a very long time. All of this is helping to show different parts of the country and different benefits of it as well as reducing costs for travel by establishing flights and programs.
In the end, there’s a lot for Israel to do still, when it comes to tourism, but they are definitely looking for ways to improve and they are continuing to advance their appeal to those throughout the world. If tourism continues to increase for the country over the next year as it has in the past year it could mean great things for the country.