2008 was a good year for Israel, celebrating its 60th anniversary and breaking its all-time record for tourism. More visitors came to the country in 2008 than in any year since the independent State of Israel was founded in 1948.
"This is the first time ever more than 3 million tourists came to Israel in a single year," says Arie Sommer, tourism commissioner for North and South America, "and this underscores Israel's attractiveness to travelers of all nationalities, faiths, ethnic backgrounds and interests."
The U.S. remains Israel's number-one source of tourism, with the UK, Russia and France the runners-up. "Close to three-quarters of a million North Americans visited Israel in 2008— also a record," added Sommer.