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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tourism hits all-time high in 1st quarter of 2012

752,000 visitors reach Israel during early months of 2012; one-day tourist entries rise 78% from 2011; Peres in Golan to promote tourism.

The Central Bureau of Statistics reported Monday that there were 752,000 tourist entries during the first quarter of 2012, an all-time high. There were 2% more tourist entries during the first quarter than in the corresponding quarter of 2011, and 1% more than in the corresponding quarter of 2010, the previous all-time high.

One-day tourist entries rose 78% to 41,000 in March from 23,000 in March 2011.

The political situation in Egypt last year was apparently responsible for the drop in one-day tourist entries, but there has subsequently been an improvement and return to normalcy. This is also seen in the doubling of tourist entries across the Egyptian border in March, compared with March last year.

President Shimon Peres was visiting the Golan Heights on Monday in his bid to promote Israel’s tourism industry. The president also visited the Negev and the Arava last week.

Greer Fay Cashman contributed to this report.