Israel continues to attract record-breaking numbers of tourists this year. Since January 2012, 2 million visitors have arrived to the country, 1.7 million of which are tourists, representing a 7-percent increase over the same period last year.
The increase in tourism is causing shortages in Israel's hotel room supply. As a result, significant incentives are being offered to lure the development of new hotels as well as the refurbishment of existing properties.
Tourism minister Stas Misezhnikov said, "Given the constant increase in demand, there is an urgent need for more hotel rooms that will increase competition in the industry and lead to a decrease in the cost of accommodation for both tourists and Israelis."
According to Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics, 296,000 visitors arrived in Israel during July 2012, up from 274,000 visitors last year, representing an increase of 8 percent.
Of the 3.4 million tourists who visited Israel last year, over 60 percent or 2.3 million of these tourists were Christian. The Christian tourism market represents one of the fastest growing segments of Israel's tourism industry and offers one of the most important avenues for future growth.
Israel's tourism industry is a significant contributor to Israel's GDP. The average tourist spends US $1,320 during his stay in Israel.
Elisa L. Moed is the founder and CEO of Travelujah Holy Land Tours, the leading Christian social network focused on travel to the Holy Land. People can learn, plan and share their Holy Land tour and travel experiences on Travelujah.
Publication date: August 14, 2012