Israel’s tourism industry is continuing to bounce back and slowly heading for pre-pandemic levels, according to figures released by the Tourism Industry this week.
July 2022 had nearly 22% fewer tourism entries than the corresponding period in 2019, a record tourism year for Israel. That year, the country registered a record number of 4.9 million tourist entries, of which 4.6 million were tourists who stayed at least one night, according to government data published in early 2020. Tourism activity in 2019 brought in about $7 billion to the economy that year.
Once the COVID-19 crisis began and lockdowns were imposed, visitor numbers plummeted and businesses were battered. Tour guides struggled and were told to retrain for other professions as recently as six months ago.
But inbound tourism has been bouncing back slowly. Between January and May 2022, about 785,000 foreign tourists entered Israel, up from about 400,000 in all of 2021, according to the Tourism Ministry.
In July, some 249,000 tourists entered the country, compared to 49,000 in July 2021, but below July 2019 with roughly 340,000 tourist entries. The highest number of tourists arriving in July was from the United States, with 81,800 arrivals, representing almost a third of all tourist arrivals to Israel.