Tourists land at Ben-Gurion Airport
Photo: Yoav Glazner
Photo: Shaya Egozi
Taba border crossing
Photo: Shaya Egozi

2010 sets record in number of tourists

Some 3.45 million enter Israel in past year – 26% increase compared to 2009

Some 3.45 million people entered Israel last year, according to data released by the Central Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday – an increase of 26% compared with 2009 and 14% compared with 2008, which held the previous record. Data on Israelis going abroad raises some interesting points, such as many ignoring warnings about travel to the Sinai.


Some 2.8 million visitors stayed in the country for at least one night, which is also a record number. Some 642,000 people entered just for a one-day visit – an increase of more than 50% compared to last year. The number of visitors who arrived via the sea also rocketed to twice the 2009 number and three times the 2008 number.


Of those arriving by air, the majority (2.3 million) came via Ben Gurion International Airport (an increase of 18% compared to last year) and 60,000 came via Eilat Airport (an increase of 23%).


The number of entries into Israel also includes those who entered the Palestinian Authority areas via Allenby Bridge border crossing as well as those who pass through the country on their way to neighboring countries – the same counting system used in 2008.


Travel warnings ignored

Last year was also a record year for Israelis going abroad, an increase of some 6% compared to 2009. Some 4.3 million people were registered leaving the country, including 2.4 million Israeli citizens. Some 800,000 citizens went abroad more than once. More than a quarter of exits were registered during July and August.


Despite terror threats and travel warnings, some 221,000 Israelis visited the Sinai Peninsula last year – a record for the last three years. Apparently many Israelis were not concerned by the travel warnings, which sometimes included instructions to leave the quiet Red Sea beaches immediately due to fears of abductions.


In comparison, in 2009 the Taba border crossing into Egypt registered 210,000 exits and 208,000 in 2008. In 2006, only 191,000 exits were registered. The year 2007 saw the highest number in recent years: 260,000 exits into the Sinai.



פרסום ראשון: 01.14.11, 09:33
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