The number of tourists visiting Israel reached an all-time record number in April, the Tourism Ministry has said.
According to figures released by the Ministry, about 349,000 tourists visited Israel in April, the highest ever number for any month since Israel was established in 1948 and an increase of 38 percent in April 2015.
“In the four months January-April 2017, 1.09 million tourist entries were recorded, 28 percent increase on the same period last year,” read a statement by the Ministry.
According to Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, economic growth engine “thanks to the increase in marketing budgets and a shift in Israel’s international marketing policy.”
“Every month, we are witnessing exceptional statistics that illustrate the progress we are spearheading in the tourism industry and its contribution to the Israeli economy and workforce,” he said in a statement.
“This important and exciting milestone is part of a positive trend that has been taking place over the last half year or more,” he added.
About 1.09 million tourist entries were recorded since the beginning of the year, an increase of 26 percent on the same period in 2016 and 22 percent more in 2015.
Tourism to Israel was badly damaged amidst security unrest last year but signs of bouncing back have emerged in January, with figures showing a rapid increase in incoming tourists.
Much of the increase was attributed to tourism from emerging markets such as India and China, with the number of Chinese tourists increased more than 300 percent over the past year.
Tourism, which accounts for about 7 percent of Israel’s economy, saw a sharp drop following Israel’s war in Gaza in 2014 and then again in the wake of a wave of Palestinian knife attacks in September 2015.