Sunday, 11 January 2009
It is now confirmed that 2008 was Israel's record year for tourism with over 3 million tourists visiting. They came for all sorts of holidays, from visiting the ultra-cool city of Tel Aviv which saw record visitor number itself, to religious pilgrimages, adventure holidays, beach holidays, and just about everything else possible. Ben Gurion Airport also saw a record year in terms of passenger numbers - 10% more than the year before.
All of these statistics might seem boring but they are absolutely fantastic bearing in mind there is a global economic crisis!
Hopefully 2009 will see more people realise the attraciveness of Israel as a place to go on holiday.
More flights are on the table, including El Al to Sao Paulo, Brazil, the first flights to South America, and US Airways to Philadelphia.
Tel Aviv is marking its 100th year anniversary this year and a year of parties and events plans to make this an even more exciting year to be in what the New York Times last year described as the "Mediterranean Capital of Cool."
If the many Hollywood and music stars who visited Israel last year, from Ben Stiller and Zach Braff, through to Paul McCartney, this year will see, amongst others, the Pope coming!
2008 was definetely a great year for tourism to Israel - and we hope 2009 will be even better.