Approximately 325,600 tourists enter Israel in the final month of 2018, 12.2 per cent more than in December 2017.
At the same time, revenue from tourism in December reached about $460 million, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics.
In total, over 4.1 million tourist entries were recorded in Israel in 2018, an increase of 14 per cent compared to the previous year.
Revenue from tourism in 2018 reached about $5.8 billion.
“In 2018, we have reached an amazing and historic record with over 4.12 million tourists arriving in Israel.
“We have broken incoming tourism records and this achievement is the direct result of intensive work that we are doing at the tourism ministry,” said minister of tourism, Yariv Levin.
“This achievement is a result of a revolutionary change in marketing strategy; infrastructure development; opening direct routes from new destinations and creating collaborations with some of the largest travel agents in the world.
“Incoming tourism makes a huge contribution to both Israel’s economy and its image.”
In 1978, Israel passed the one million annual tourist mark, thirty years after the establishment of the state.
While it took 16 years to add the next one million tourists (in 1994) and 23 years to reach three million tourists (in 2017), it took just two years to reach four million.
“This is the second consecutive record-breaking year in incoming tourism to Israel and this year we have crossed the threshold of four million tourists in a year.
“This is the result of hard and strenuous work in recent years, as part of a revolution in the way that Israel is marketed around the world as a tourist destination,” tourism ministry director general, Amir Halevi, said.
“We are optimistic about 2019 that begins with the opening of the new international airport at Timna, that will enable us to continue bringing new flights to Eilat.
“What was considered a fantasy a few years ago is today a reality: Israel is a preferred tourist destination among tourism destinations around the world.”
Eleanor Hawkins last year visited Israel for Breaking Travel News to discover what the new airport would mean to tourism in Eilat and Israel.
Take a look at what she found here.