A Muslim tourist holds a child as he takes a selfie photo in front of the Dome of the Rock on the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, in Jerusalem’s Old City August 31, 2017. (photo credit: REUTERS/AMMAR AWAD)
Jerusalem is the world’s fastest growing tourism destination, a report by London-based market research company Euromonitor International revealed this week.
According to the report, incoming tourism to the Israeli capital is set to grow by 38% in 2018 courtesy of “relative stability and a strong marketing push.” Tourism in the city grew by 32% in 2017, the company said.
Globally, inbound tourist arrivals are set to grow by 5% to 1.4 billion trips in 2018. The world’s top 100 city destinations outperformed global arrivals growth, witnessing a 7.5% increase in arrivals, underlining the growing importance of major cities for the global travel industry.
Although Israeli tourism is thriving
, the Middle East and North Africa have witnessed a downturn in tourism, with cities including Jerba and Sousse in Tunisia, and Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt dropping out of the top 100 city destinations in recent years “mainly due to terrorist attacks and subsequent slumping demand.” Cairo has bucked the trend, however, by welcoming an 11.5% increase in visitors.
According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, approximately 389,000 tourist entries were recorded last month in Israel, an increase of 9% in comparison with November 2017 and 35% more than November 2016.
In mid-November, the number of incoming tourists surpassed last year’s record of 3.6 million and the figure now stands at an unprecedented 3.8 million. The four millionth visitor is expected to land in the coming weeks.
“The month of November continues the record-breaking momentum in incoming tourism to Israel and leads us towards unprecedented end of year statistics,” said Tourism Minister Yariv Levin.
“We have achieved the goals we set for ourselves and I believe we will reach four million tourists by the end of the year – an all-time record.”
Tourism-related revenue during November exceeded NIS 2.1 billion, and has surpassed NIS 20 billion since January.
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