This survey, conducted by Dr. Mina Zemach, comes as surprise after past polls showed quite the opposite, as Israelis used to flock to the southern beach city for their holidays.
Ministry for the Development of the Negev and Galilee asked Zemach to conduct the poll ahead of Nahariya's sixth Galilee Conference. Some 512 people participated in the survey.
According to the poll, 44% of Israelis prefer to spend their holidays in the Galilee, with only 18% picking Eilat as their go-to vacation destination. In addition, 11% chose the Negev and 6% agreed Jerusalem was their favorite place for some rest and relaxation.
Apparently the Galilee was a favorite pick amongst all sectors: Women, men, religious and secular alike. Not only that, but Israelis living in the Galilee also prefer to spend their leisure time in the north, with Jerusalem coming in at second place.
Anat Nissim, CEO of tourism association Land of the Galilee, said that in the past couple of years she has noticed this new trend, adding that many businesses and organizations prefer to plan their company retreats in the north.
Nissim believes that "the peaceful and secure situation in the north and the fact that it allows for activities all year long" are some of the reasons for this trend, as well as developed infrastructures and a growing number of pastime activities open to the public.
Vice Premier and Minister for Regional Development Silvan Shalom added: "There is no doubt this is an amazing statistic which indicates the development and changes we feel in the Galilee today.
"We're working to strengthen tourism in the Galilee, and that leads to economical momentum and more jobs. In addition, people who come to tour the Galilee fall in love with it, and some even return to live here."