Israel saw a record number of international tourists visiting the Holy Land in 2018. The most ever!

The Israel Ministry of Tourism confirmed a record-breaking year this week, with 4.1 million visitors arriving last year, mainly from the US, UK, France, Russia, Germany and Italy.

The figure represents a 14 percent increase on 2017 and a 42 percent increase on 2016, when tourism chiefs hailing a “revolution” in the way Israel is now seen as a top destination.

The Christian connection with the Holy Land is evidenced in the fact that more than half the tourists – some 56% – who visited Israel in 2018 were Christian, Israel’s tourism ministry said, with approximately 19% defining themselves as pilgrims. Forty-one percent of Christian visitors were Catholic, 27% Protestants and 28% Orthodox.

Christian tourism has made a significant contribution to Israel’s record-breaking year of incoming tourism.

“We are optimistic about 2019, which begins with the opening of the new international airport at Timna, bringing new flights to Eilat,” said Tourism Ministry general-director Amir Halevi.

“What was considered a fantasy a few years ago is today a reality, that Israel is a preferred tourist destination among tourism destinations,” he said, adding that it was “part of a revolution in the way Israel is marketed”.