For the second year in a row, the month of January saw record numbers of tourists visiting the country.
Some 200,000 tourists entered Israel in January 2014, 19 percent more than in January 2013 and “an all-time record for the month,” according to figured released by the Tourism Ministry on Monday.
Of those, 167,000 arrived by air, 6,000 arrived by direct flight to the southern city of Eilat, 22,000 arrived via the Jordanian border and 10,800 came from Egypt via the Taba crossing. The latter figure represents a 69% increase in overland crossings from the troubled Sinai region compared to January 2013.
An additional 29,000 visitors were classified as day visitors, meaning that they stayed in the country less than 24 hours, a 40% decrease from January 2013. Most of those, 21,000, arrived via land from Jordan or Egypt on their way elsewhere. Another 6,700 of them visited an Israeli port for a day as part of a Mediterranean cruise, a decline of 69% compared to January 2013. The remainder, 2,000, came via air.
Tourism Minister Uzi Landau said the month was an “excellent beginning” for 2014, which the ministry aims to make “another record year for tourism.”
Fully 2.54 million tourists had visited the country in 2013, an all-time record, the Tourism Ministry said in December.