While in 2012 general tourism to the US jumped by 7%, reaching an all-time high of 67 million visitors, tourism from Israel recorded a mere increase of 0.3%.
Moreover, the figures published by the Americans show that the number of tourists who entered the country from Israel in 2012 (303,629) is even lower than the number of Israelis who arrived in 2001 (305,431) – the year tourism experienced a dramatic fall following the September 11 terror attacks.
Israelis not visiting as much. Statue of Liberty (Photo: Shutterstock)
The inbound travel figures compiled by the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries at the US Department of Commerce are published once a year during the Pow Wow, the American travel industry's premier international marketplace, which was held last week in Las Vegas.
The international visitation data are received from the US passport control and are based on the visitor's place of residence. In other words, even if an Israeli enters the US with a foreign passport, he or she must still fill in their permanent place of residence in the entry form.
It should be noted that after the September 11 attacks, there was a drop in Israeli (and international) visitations to the US. In 2002, for example, the number of visitors from Israel fell to 263,000, and then to 249,000 in 2003. The figures began climbing again slowly in 2004.
Some 308,000 tourists from Israel arrived in the US in 2009. The drop began a year later when the number of Israelis arriving in the US fell to 307,000. In 2011, the number further dropped to 302,673.