Israel tourism slips 2.4% to 3.36 m in 2011

Wednesday, 11 January 2012 00:02 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

JERUSALEM (Reuters): Israeli Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov said on Monday he is targeting four million tourists to his country in 2012 after the number dropped 2.4 per cent in 2011 to 3.36 million.

Revenue from tourism – a key driver of Israeli’s economy – rose last year, however, government figures showed.

In 2010, tourism hit an all-time high of 3.44 million, according to the Tourism Ministry and Central Bureau of Statistics

Revenue from tourism grew two per cent to 35 billion shekels ($9.1 billion) in 2011, while the number of tourism jobs accounted for 7.5 per cent of total employment in Israel.

“Despite the economic and geopolitical turmoil 2011 posted record revenue to the economy,” Misezhnikov said. “These data are an important vote of confidence of tourists in Israel and proof that the tourism industry is a significant national resource and one of the leading economic growth engines.” ($1 = 3.84 shekels)