|Jerusalem Old City Wall// Image (c) 2011 State of Israel Ministry of Tourism|
Travel to Israel reached a record high last month as more than 286,000 tourists arrived to stay more than one night—a 5 percent increase over May 2010. Between January and May 2011, more than 1,168,000 tourists arrived in the country, marking a 4 percent increase over the same period last year.
"We are thrilled to see an increase in travel to Israel during the month of May despite the recent regional turmoil," said Haim Gutin, Israel's Commissioner for Tourism, North and South America, "And this trend promises to continue through the warm summer months."
Cruise travel also saw a major increase over last year. 16,000 of the 40,000 one-day visitors to Israel last month arrived on cruise ships, which represented a 100 percent increase over May 2010. Cruise travel is expected to climb even higher this month with the confirmed arrival of 50,000 tourists and crew in the port cities of Ashdod and Haifa.