NEW YORK — For the first time in over two years, Israel’s tourism arrival numbers are approaching the same record-breaking numbers of summer 2019.
According to the Israel Ministry of Tourism, the destination has seen exponential growth month over month since March 2022, when the country reopened to international travellers regardless of vaccination status. During June 2022, Israel saw 112,700 North American tourists (excluding day visitors and cruise passengers), compared to 131,800 in June 2019.
“We are thrilled that travellers from all over the world are eager to visit Israel again. Ever since our total reopening to all travellers, we are seeing an influx of visitors,” said Eyal Carlin, Tourism Commissioner for North America. “With new hotels, restorations and renovations to many historical sites, new tour offerings and new restaurants in every region, we are seeing that the demand to visit Israel is very high. And with all the amazing things to do in Israel, there’s never been a better time to visit.”
Gal Hana, Director Counsel of Canada for the Israel Ministry of Tourism, added: “It’s exciting to see continuous growth in travel to Israel from the Canadian market. With a number of upgrades in accessibility, hotel openings and, of course, the natural beauty of the country, Israel should be at the top of everyone’s travel list this year.”
Key updates from the destination include the following:
- A total of 107 entrepreneurs have applied for grants from the Ministry of Tourism to establish new hotels. Investors are seeking to establish and convert existing buildings to hotels and expand existing buildings or restore them to their original purpose. The Israel Ministry of Tourism has earmarked $49 million in grants to support these plans.
- Numerous hotels have opened in the last six months, with more planned throughout 2022 and 2023 including: Six Senses Shaharut; Brut Brown Hotel; The David Kempinski Tel Aviv; Nobu Hotel Tel Aviv; Isrotel’s Port Tower Hotel; Alberto Tel Aviv, and more.
- Tel Aviv Pride 2022 saw over 10,000 tourists this year, and the Pride Parade, which took place on June 10, welcomed over 170,000 people.
- Free guided tours to the public were brought back in February 2022. Tens of thousands of free tours are now being offered every day of the week. To date, more than 1,800 tour guides have responded to the invitation to participate in this project. Tours are offered in English, Russian, French and Arabic, in addition to Hebrew-guided tours.
- Travellers can expect to see over 300 wineries, new breweries and distilleries including Jerusalem’s new Thinker’s Distillery and more restaurants in local markets using fresh local produce and vegan options.
- Accessibility in the Old City has greatly improved. Years in the making, nearly 4 miles of streets and alleyways in the Old City have been made accessible with the installation of hand railings and ramps. The Step-Hear app, which assists and supports the visually impaired, have also been implemented.
- Israel has approved a $35 million upgrade to the Western Wall, one of Israel’s most iconic sites. The plan aims to encourage more visits by improving public transportation accessibility, developing new educational programs and continuing existing development projects.
For more information on travel to Israel go to https://canadavisitisrael.com/.