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The number of foreign tourists visiting Israel in 2023 increased by 12.52 percent year-on-year despite a sharp drop since October caused by the Israel-Hamas conflict, data released by the country’s Central Bureau of Statistics.

Last year, about 3.01 million tourists visited Israel, compared to 2.675 million in 2022, indicating the continued recovery of tourism after the coronavirus crisis in previous years, according to the bureau.

However, the number was still significantly lower than the record 4.55 million in 2019. Following the outbreak of the conflict on Oct. 7, 2023, the number of tourists visiting Israel dropped from 304,100 in September to 89,700 in October, 38,300 in November, but we see a comeback of 52,800 in December.

The estimated tourism revenue for 2023 is 17.7 billion ILS, where the average spending per tourist is 6,005 ILS (not including flight).

From January to the outbreak of the war, there was a 10% increase in tourist arrivals from the USA, compared to the corresponding period in the record year 2019. 36% came for the purpose of sightseeing and travel (mostly tourists), 20% came for pilgrimage purposes, 30% came on an organized trip and the average length of stay: 8.3 nights.

Minister of Tourism, Haim Katz: “2023 marked a record year for inbound tourism, when in the American market, the main and largest, we broke records in the number of tourists. We are preparing the necessary infrastructure that will allow us to operate efficiently and quickly the day after, to help jumpstart the economy and provide the state with additional resources for reconstruction and for growth. The indications from the field are encouraging, the tourists did postpone their arrival because of the war, but many did not cancel their reservations and are waiting for the right opportunity to come. Israel has a lot to offer as a tourist destination, we look forward to returning and welcoming the tourists to our gates”.

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