Tourists Continue to Return to Israel, Israelis Take More Trips Abroad
As Elana and I wrap up hosting our first tour since COVID, we are happy to report that more and more tourists are flocking back to Israel, although tourism is still not back up to the pre-COVID record-breaking year of 2019. Israel welcomed 590,500 entries into the country in January and February this year, a dramatic increase over the same time last year, when only 137,400 tourists visited.
In 2020, just before the lockdowns, 695,500 people entered the country in the first two months of the year. In 2019, a record-breaking 4.5 million guests visited the Holy Land.
The tourism industry has been steadily recovering since last May, when Israel finally lifted all the pandemic restrictions. Israel’s main airline, El Al, recently reported its first fourth-quarter profit in seven years.
And while more tourists are visiting Israel, more Israelis are also traveling abroad—surpassing pre-COVID records. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, last month, 569,100 Israelis traveled somewhere overseas—and not just to Europe or the US. Thanks to the Abraham Accords, more than 150,000 Israelis visited our new friends in the United Arab Emirates.
“During 2022, we’ve already bounced back with exceptional tourist entries from our primary source countries – USA, Germany, France, and Italy,” said Pini Shani, an Israel Tourism Ministry VP, said. “The Abraham Accords is a fantastic opportunity for the UAE and Israel to build lasting relationships and historic cultural bonds.”
And Emiratis—around 1,600 of them—are coming to visit Israel. “UAE nationals and ex-pats need more time to explore what Israel can offer them as a tourism destination,” he said.