Tourism to Israel is up 8.3 percent so far this year, according to the latest statistics from the Israel Ministry of Tourism. So far in 2019 the country has seen a total of 1.9 million visitors, compared to 1.75 million during the same period in 2018.
This past May, 440,000 tourists entered Israel, marking an increase of 11.3 percent over the previous year, and a 26.8 percent increase when compared with May 2017.
The news comes amidst a number of tourism developments from the country. The Dan Caesarea Hotel just wrapped an eight-month renovation project aimed at attracting younger guests, while two other hotel companies have announced a number of new properties: six new hotels from Jordache Enterprises Group and 11 new properties from Isrotel.
In terms of infrastructure, the country’s Transportation Ministry has approved a plan to expand Terminal 3 of the Ben-Gurion Airport, adding 90 new check-in counters, four new baggage hall conveyor belts, and expanding immigration checkpoints and parking facilities. In addition, a fifth passenger concourse will be constructed to accommodate additional aircraft. This expansion will allow the airport to increase to accommodate up to 30 million more passengers a year, tourism officials said.
In Tel Aviv, a new on-demand shuttle service, Bubble, has launched, which will pick up and drop off passengers at existing bus stops throughout the city, with ordering done via an app. Bus company Kavim has also launched a new route connecting the Ben-Gurion Airport and Tel Aviv’s hotel areas, running Sunday through Thursday, 24 hours a day.
Finally, to celebrate Pride this year, Tel Aviv has appointed American actor, writer, producer, magician and singer, Neil Patrick Harris as its official Ambassador for Tel Aviv Pride 2019, joined by his husband, chef and actor David Burtka.