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Record number of tourists visit Israel in first third of 2012

January-April saw nearly 1 million arrivals

Tourists in Eilat (photo credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90)
Tourists in Eilat (photo credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90)

For the second consecutive year, tourism to Israel set a new record in the period of January through April. Some 933,000 visitors entered Israel during the opening third of 2012, representing an increase of 4% over the record set during the same time frame in 2011, according to a press release from the Ministry of Tourism on Wednesday.

The largest increases came from the Far East (62,000 tourists) and India (12,000). These numbers represent an increase of 27% from the Far East and 32% from India over the same period last year.

After seeing tourism from the United States drop in 2011, the first four months of 2012 saw an increase of 4% to 190,000. Canada, Brazil, Italy and China were among several other countries which brought more tourists than in the first third of 2011.

The Ministry of Tourism says it is seeing the return on a NIS 27 million image campaign in Russia and Ukraine; 112,000 tourists came from Russia in January-April, 3% more than the same period in 2011. The NIS 8 million invested in direct flights from Holland to Eilat resulted in an increase of 37% of tourists from that country, it added.

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