June tourism to Israel breaks record

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June 2011 was a record month for Israeli tourism and aviation. Despite political events, not only was Israel able to keep up last year’s record of incoming tourists, but even exceeded the record by 7%.

A record 262,000 tourists and day visitors entered Israel in June, 1% more than in June 2010, and 25% more than in June 2009. Tourist entries (tourists who stayed for more than one night) also reached an all-time high of 228,300 in June (87% of total visitors), 7% more than in June 2010 and 4% more than in June 2009.

The Ministry of Tourism cites Central Bureau of Statistics figures that 1.6 million visitors arrived in the first half of 2011, similar to the 1.63 million visitors in the first half of 2010, and suggesting that this will be a record year for tourism. 1.4 million of the entries were tourists, 4% more than in the first half of last year.

According to June reports of aviation operations at Ben Gurion Airport and the Ministry of Tourism, 1,161,914 passengers passed through the airport on 9,055 international and domestic flights in June. There were 1,093,689 international passengers in June, 11.25% more than in June 2010. The number of international flights rose by 9.36% to 8,220 flights in June, compared with the corresponding month.

Ben Gurion Airport handled 68,225 domestic passengers in June, 24.4% more than then 54,838 domestic passengers in June 2010.

Israeli airlines carried 434,388 passengers in June, 39.7% of all passengers at Ben Gurion Airport during the month, but 2.5% fewer than in June 2010. The greatest increases in departing passengers in June, compared with the corresponding month, were to Ukraine, Greece, and the Netherlands.

40,900 tourists arrived on direct flights to Eilat in the first half, 38% more than in the first half of last year.