2017 saw an increase of tourism to Israel of 25% over the previous year with a record breaking 3.6 million tourists visiting the country which generated approximately 20 billion shekels in revenue (about $5.7 billion), This was an unprecedented increase of 700,000 more visitors than in 2016.
The spike in tourist activity is attributed to the fact that the government has encouraged airlines to open direct flights to Israel and this initiative has resulted in 18 new flight routes to Ben Gurion International airport from various destinations amongst them Miami in the USA, Europe and Iceland.
Aside from first time tourists to Israel there has also been an increase in the number of return visitors which is not surprising as at least 91% of tourists have ranked their trips to Israel as being very good or excellent.
The first social network campaign aimed at China was also opened which led to a 46% increase in Chinese tourism to Israel from the previous year. Of the first time visitors to Israel 25% were religious Christian pilgrims. The most popular destinations were Jerusalem followed by Tel Aviv-Jaffa. The Dead Sea and Tiberius and the Galilee region.