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Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Tourism Ministry: Record Year for Incoming Tourism

Jerusalem, 8 January 2013

IT’S OFFICIAL: 2012 WAS A RECORD YEAR FOR INCOMING TOURISM WITH MORE THAN
3.5 MILLION VISITOR ENTRIES, 5% MORE THAN IN 2011

EFFECT OF OPERATION PILLAR OF DEFENSE:
238,000 ENTRIES IN DECEMBER, 9% LESS THAN DEC. 2011

RECOVERY TOWARDS THE END OF DECEMBER:
SLIGHT INCREASE VERSUS SAME DAYS IN 2011

Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov: “The swift and professional action taken
by the Tourism Ministry with increased marketing activities around the
world, when Operation Pillar of Defense ended, helped the rehabilitation of
incoming tourism by the end of December. The immediate financial assistance
to the tourism industry of tens of millions of shekel contributed to 2012’s
record year for incoming tourism and to the continued upward trend for the
tourism industry over the last three years.”

2012 – A NEW RECORD YEAR FOR INCOMING TOURISM

Despite Operation Pillar of Defense which resulted in an average 11%
decrease in the numbers of incoming tourists in November and December 2012
(compared to the same period in 2011), according to the Central Bureau of
Statistics data published today, the year 2012 registered over 3.5 million
visitor entries, 5% more than in 2011 and 2% more than in 2010. Of these,
tourists (not including day visitors) accounted for 2.9 million entries, 2%
more than in 2011 and 3% more than 2010 – another record statistic. 634,000
entries were one-day visitors, an increase of 17% on 2011 and 1% less than
in 2010.

2.5 million Visitors arrived by air, an increase of 2% compared to 2011.
About 404,000 came through the land borders, an increase of 6% compared to
2011. Of the day visitors, 294,000 entered via the land crossings (24%
increase) and 251,000 arrived on cruise ships, 6% more than in 2011.

DECEMBER 2012 – THE OPERATION PILLAR OF DEFENSE EFFECT

In December 2012, about 238,000 visitors arrived in Israel, 9% less than in
December (263,000) and 11% less than in December 2010. Operation Pillar of
Defense had an adverse effect on incoming tourism in December. Towards the
end of the month, there was a recovery with a slight increase in the numbers
compared to the same days in December 2011.

Of these entries, about 195,000 were tourists, 9% less than December 2011
and 10% less than December 2010. There was a decrease in those arriving by
air with 172,000 entries in December 2012, (6% less than December 2011), of
whom 5,500 came on direct flights into Ovdah and Eilat (27% less than in
December 2011. About 23,000 tourists crossed into Israel by land, 27% less
than the same period last year. 18,000 of them came through the border with
Jordan (1% less than December 2011) and 5,000 came through Taba to Eilat
(61% less than last year).

43,000 entries were day visitors, 11% less than December 2011. Of these,
22,000 arrived on cruise ships (13% decrease), 19,000 came through the land
crossings (10% less) and about 2,300 came via air (15% more than December
2011).

The minister added: “For every 36 tourists, one job is created and this year’s
increase in incoming tourism added thousands of new jobs to the workplace.”

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