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UK visitors boost tourism to Israel

UK visitors boost tourism to Israel

Tourism to Israel is on the increase, according to figures released this week by the Israel Ministry of Tourism.

A record 3.54 million visitors entered Israel in 2013 and Naama Oryan-Kaplan, director of IGTO UK and Ireland expressed her delight in Israel’s rising popularity with incoming visitors.

Globally there was a one per cent increase in visitor numbers between 2013 and 2012, however visitors from the UK bucked this trend, increasing by five per cent to 217,137 visitors over the same period.

Oryan-Kaplan said: “Israel is a unique country with a history that spans back thousands of years.

“Although we are small, our Mediterranean location means we can offer something for everyone, from beach side holidays to weekend city breaks in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, or adventure holidays in the Negev Desert, spa breaks in the Dead Sea to touring holidays of the Galilee.

“The rise in visitors to Israel has been mirrored by the support of airline partners, with El Al increasing their flight frequency between Tel Aviv and London, and easyJet announcing the launch of a new flight route from Gatwick to Tel Aviv starting in April 2014.”

In 2013, the Israel Ministry of Tourism signed an open skies agreement with the European Union which would allow more flights to the country and ultimately will see the destination become more affordable.

Other developments within the country include the opening of a new terminal at Ben Gurion International Airport for low cost airlines in 2013 and the building of Israel’s second international airport in Timna, near Eilat due to be completed in 2016.