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Record tourism income in 2012 despite Gaza operation

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Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

tel aviv

As reported in Globes: Tourism income from foreign visitors rose to $5.1 billion in 2012 from $5 billion in 2011.

Despite Operation Pillar of Cloud and missiles falling from Gaza in November, which hit tourism to Israel at the end of the year, income from foreign tourism reached a record $5.1 billion in 2012, according to the Ministry of Tourism. The figure rose from $5 billion in 2011, $4.8 billion in 2010 and $4 billion in 2009.

The average amount spent by a tourist visiting Israel for less than 30 days in 2012 was $1,484 according to a sample survey of 25,000 families representing 41,000 individuals. The average tourist on an organized tour spent $1,549, on a package tour $1,500, and on an independent vacation $1,426.The average foreign tourist spends $153 per day, while those on land from a cruise spend $145.

56% of tourists to Israel are Christians, half of them Catholics and 19% Protestants, while 24% of tourists to Israel are Jews.

64% of tourists in 2012 said they came because of a recommendation by family or friends compared with 49% in 2011. 36% of tourists received information about Israel via the Internet compared with 27% in 2011.

74% of visitors to Israel in 2012 stayed in hotels, 16% with family and friends, 4% in youth hostels, 3% in a rented apartment, 2% in a Christian hospice, and 2% elsewhere. These figures were similar in 2011. The average visit by a tourist in 2012 lasted 8.2 days similar to 2011.