More travellers are discovering Israel as tourism officials report that so far in 2019, the country has welcomed a total of 1.9 million visitors – that compares to the 1.75 million arrivals during the same period in 2018.
This past May, 440,000 tourists entered Israel, marking an increase of 11.3% over the previous year, and a 26.8% increase when compared with May 2017.
Tourism Minister Yariv Levin commented: “The May 2019 tourism statistics continue the consistent upward momentum and record-breaking trend in incoming tourism to Israel.”
The increased interested and the growing number of arrivals is spurring a host of new developments that include:
- After eight months of renovations, the Dan Caesarea Hotel has reopened. The hotel underwent a NIS 80 million renovation to attract a younger generation, upgrading 116 rooms and suites, the lobby, dining room, event halls, spa, childrens club and public areas with sleeker options.
- Jordache Enterprises group is expanding its hotel business in Israel by opening six new hotels in Israel in 2019. The group will open three new four and five-star hotels under the Herbert Samuel brand: the 162-room Milos Dead Sea Hotel; the 110-room Opera Tel Aviv Hotel, and the 30-room Boutique Tel Aviv Hotel. In addition, the Setai hotel brand will also open three hotels with a five-star rating.
- Isrotel announced that it has plans to open 11 hotels in Israel, eight of which will be built by 2022. Five hotels will be in Tel Aviv, with others being built in Eilat, Jaffa, Jerusalem, the Dead Sea and the Negev Desert.
- Israel’s Transportation Ministry approved a NIS 3 billion expansion plan of Ben-Gurion Airport, expanding Terminal 3 by 80,000 square-meters, adding 90 new check-in counters, four new baggage hall conveyor belts, and expanding immigration checkpoints and parking facilities. In addition, a fifth passenger concourse will be constructed to accommodate additional aircrafts. This expansion will allow the airport to increase to accommodate up to 30 million more passengers a year.
- Bubble, a new on-demand van shuttle service, has launched in collaboration with the Dan Bus Company in Israel to bring easier transportation to travelers in Tel Aviv. Passengers can now be picked up and dropped off at existing bus stops in Tel Aviv by ordering through the app.
- Kavim has launched a new public bus route, 445, which will operate 24 hours a day, Sunday through Thursday, to connect the Ben-Gurion Airport and Tel Avivs hotel areas. Stops will include Ben Yehuda Street, Yehuda Halevi Street, Menachem Begin Street and the railway complex.
- The new interactive map of Israel displays thousands of items of information, including attractions, hotels, restaurants, hiking routes and other accommodation options. Tourists can filter and search items to easier allow them to navigate the country. In addition, the site is translated into 11 languages.
- The Tower of David Museum and the Center for the Blind in Israel partnered to launch a mobile app that provides guided tours and routes for the visually impaired to experience Old City Jerusalem. The app provides evocative descriptions of the sights and encourages the listener to physically interact with the area through touch.
Go to www.israel.travel for more.