Israel tourism numbers on the rise ahead of planned airport expansion

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    As recent numbers show, tourism in Israel is on the uptick, with a total of 1.9 million visitors in 2019 so far compared to 1.75 million during the same period last year.

    This past May alone, says the Israel Ministry of Tourism, 440,000 tourists arrived in Israel, marking an increase of 11.3% over the previous year and a 26.8% increase when compared to May 2017.

    “The May 2019 tourism statistics continue the consistent upward momentum and record-breaking trend in incoming tourism to Israel,” said Tourism Minister Yariv Levin.

    This momentum can be attributed to numerous new developments and offerings, including:

    • Renovations at Dan Caesarea: After eight months of renovations, the Dan Caesarea Hotel has reopened. The hotel underwent a NIS80 million renovation to attract a younger generation, upgrading 116 rooms and suites, the lobby, dining room, event halls, spa, children’s club and public areas.

    • Six new hotels from Jordache Enterprises Group: The Group is expanding its hotel business in Israel with six new hotels this year, which include three 4- and 5-star properties under the Herbert Samuel brand: the 162-room Milos Dead Sea Hotel; the 110-room Opera Tel Aviv Hotel; and the 30-room Boutique Tel Aviv Hotel. In addition, the Setai hotel brand will open three hotels with a five-star rating.

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    • 11 new hotels from Isrotel: Isrotel announced plans to open 11 hotels in Israel, eight of which will be built by 2022. Five hotels will be in Tel Aviv, with others being built in Eilat, Jaffa, Jerusalem, the Dead Sea and the Negev Desert.

    • Expansion of Ben-Gurion Airport: Israel’s Transportation Ministry approved a NIS3 billion expansion plan of the airport, which includes expanding Terminal 3 by 80,000 square metres. In addition, a fifth passenger concourse will be built to accommodate additional aircraft. The expansion will allow the airport to accommodate up to 30 million additional passengers a year.

    • New interactive map: The Israel Ministry of Tourism has introduced a new interactive map of Israel that displays thousands of items of information, including attractions, hotels, restaurants, hiking routes and other accommodation options. The site is translated into 11 languages.

    • New app for the visually impaired: The Tower of David Museum and the Center for the Blind in Israel have partnered to launch a mobile app that provides guided tours and routes for the visually impaired to experience Old City Jerusalem. The app provides descriptions of sites and encourages the listener to physically interact with the area through touch.

    (www.israel.travel.)

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