Israel tourism statistics


Israel tourism statistics

Today we will do something different. Instead of visiting a site, we will dig into data and see what Israel tourism statistics we can find. Let’s begin!

Note: the data sources are Tourism and Hotel Services Statistics, which is published quarterly by the Israeli CBS (Central Bureau of Statistics) and Research and Statistics by the Ministry of Tourism.

How big is the tourism sector?

What is the contribution of travel and tourism to GDP as a share of GDP (%)? According to the January 2020 report by the Ministry of Tourism, the tourism industry is estimated at 6.2% of GDP.

Is 6.2% a big or a small number? In the following map by Knoema, you can hover over countries and the contribution of travel and tourism to GDP as a share of GDP (%). And Israel is behind the USA and most Europe.

How many tourists visited Israel in 2019?

According to CBS, 4.55 million tourists visited Israel in 2019.

Who visits Israel?

And now, let’s see a division by country of citizenship. Here are the top 15 countries.

Country of citizenshipTourists (January-December 2019) in absolute numbers (thousands)
CouttryBy landBy airTotal
United States98.4871.0969.4
France16.2351.3367.5
Russian Federation10.0308.1318.1
Germany10.0267.4289.0
United Kingdom12.0223.4235.4
Italy20.9169.8190.7
Poland14.8142.1156.9
China46.2110.0156.1
Ukraine9.4126.0135.4
Romania14.2106.9121.1
Spain16.787.9104.7
Canada14.681.295.8
Netherlands6.984.091.0
Brazil17.364.882.1
India37.627.565.1
Grand total583.43,968.24,551.6

Most tourists that visit Israel come from United States and Europe.

How long in the average visit to Israel?

The average length of stay for all tourists was 10.0 nights, and for
tourists staying in Israel up to 30 days – 8.2 nights.

The duration of the visit depends on the purpose of the visit. And as you can see from the following quote, there are different categories of travelers.

24.3% of the tourists arrived for religious purposes (pilgrimage),
21.3% came for touring and sightseeing, 30.0% for visiting friends and
relatives, 10.3% for leisure and pleasure, 8.9% for business and
missions, and 5.2% specified “other” as the main purpose of their visit.

Tourist expenditure

Tourist expenditure
Tourist expenditure

As you can see from the table above, the accommodation has the most significant influence on the budget. And this leads us to the next section.

Accommodation

Type

Most tourists stayed in hotels or holiday resorts. Here is a pie chart that represents the data.

Type of accommodation
Type of accommodation

Level of accommodation

11.4% of the tourists stayed in high-end accommodation, 86.4%
reported a medium accommodation level, 1.0% reported a low
accommodation level and 1.2% reported “other” when asked about the
level of accommodation used on their visit.

Cost Of Rooms

Both tourists and Israeli complain about the high prices of accommodations in Israel. So let’s look at table 19 (ROOMS, BEDS, PERSON-NIGHTS, BED OCCUPANCY, REVENUE AND JOBS IN HOTEL SERVICES(1)), and see what we can deduct from it.

Revenue(3)Person-nights
Jobs (4)From IsraelisFrom TouristsTotalBed occupancyIsraelis (3)Tourists (3)TotalMonthYear
ThousandsNIS million%Thousands 
37.05,462.54,037.29,499.748.715,915.611,291.627,207.02010
38.35,693.04,052.89,745.948.115,852.611,388.327,240.7      2011
38.36,052.24,331.710,383.948.516,253.811,247.227,500.92012
39.06,255.14,336.910,592.048.916,451.711,485.427,937.1 2013
40.16,381.14,194.510,575.747.316,452.810,966.927,419.4 2014
41.46,935.84,185.611,121.246.717,065.89,972.427,038.2 2015
41.57,130.44,240.011,370.347.217,315.410,411.927,727.4 2016
45.27,380.15,004.212,384.249.817,263.712,939.530,201.7 2017
45.07,662.85,625.713,288.549.517,105.313,862.130,967.3 2018
46.58,001.25,976.913,978.050.317,340.514,420.131,759.6 2019
41.2451.2354.2805.537.61,025.4953.11,978.5I   2019
41.6437.4364.4801.842.91,018.01,028.42,046.4II
44.0510.0554.11,064.148.81,143.71,435.42,579.1III
48.1744.5583.31,327.854.01,552.81,246.62,799.4IV
47.6613.5618.01,231.552.01,359.71,439.52,799.3V
48.2732.3561.71,293.953.21,573.71,206.72,780.4VI
49.1881.7443.61,325.358.62,030.41,130.53,161.0VII
49.71,039.3404.21,443.462.12,334.31,016.43,349.7VIII
48.7701.2481.71,182.950.71,481.51,157.82,639.2IX
47.8735.0584.11,319.150.11,419.71,299.72,719.4X
46.7553.5619.11,172.550.61,139.21,490.82,629.9XI
45.5601.7408.41,010.142.51,262.11,015.12,277.3XII

Notes:

  • (3) Incl. estimates of components of Hotel Services for which data were not collected.
  • (4) Incl. jobs of Man-Power companies.

The first thing that we can see from the table above is bed occupancy. If we look for 2019 division by month, then we can see that winter month has the lowest occupancy rates. And the summer vacation month has the highest rates.

And if we take this data and calculate the revenue divided by person nights, then we will get the following table.

YearMonthRevenue from Israelis/Israelis Person nightsRevenue from Tourists/Tourists Person nightsTotal Revenue/Total Person nights
2010343.2357.5349.2
2011359.1355.9357.8
2012372.4385.1377.6
2013380.2377.6379.1
2014387.8382.5385.7
2015406.4419.7411.3
2016411.8407.2410.1
2017427.5386.7410.0
2018448.0405.8429.1
2019461.4414.5440.1
2019I440.0371.6407.1
II429.7354.3391.8
III445.9386.0412.6
IV479.5467.9474.3
V451.2429.3439.9
VI465.3465.5465.4
VII434.2392.4419.3
VIII445.2397.7430.9
IX473.3416.0448.2
X517.7449.4485.1
XI485.9415.3445.8
XII476.7402.3443.6

The first thing that we can see is that Israeli and tourists pay approximately the same prices. And if we look at the 2019 month division, then we can see that February was the cheapest month. April and October were the most expensive months. Probably because these are holiday months (April – Passover, October – Sukkot).

And now let’s look at the prices. Total revenue divided by Total Person nights for 2019 was 440.1. If we assume that the income of hotels is only from renting rooms, then the last column represents the average price per person per night. Meaning the average double room will cost about 880 NIS per night. That is quite expensive compared to most European countries and the USA.

Attractions

When I wrote Israel Trip Planner, I also compiled a list of top attractions. That list was based on various websites which include user feedback. And now let’s see what are the most popular sites according to Ministry of Tourism and CBS.

According to the Ministry of Tourism, the most visited regions in 2018 were Jerusalem, Tel Aviv-Jaffa, and Dead Sea Area.

Sites Visited
Sites Visited

On the CBS site, I also found table 64 – visits in Israel nature and parks authority sites, by type of site and district. Let’s start with the raw data, and then I will present several derivatives.

Note: the numbers in the table are in thousands.

IsraelisTouristsTotal
 201920182017201920182017201920182017
Grand total9,110.18,686.28,499.63,769.83,379.72,758.712,880.012,065.811,258.2
1.Recriation sites – total6,505.26,126.46,003.91,034.7960.1807.97,539.97,086.56,811.8
1.1Jerusalem District(1) – total633.8576.0557.613.312.711.4647.1588.6569.0
Me’arat Avshalom (stalactives cave)220.2204.7209.06.35.53.5226.5210.3212.5
En Hemed 119.2112.785.20.61.31.2119.8114.086.4
Eynot Zukim (En Feshcha)149.4139.6147.33.43.43.7152.7143.0150.9
En Prat145.0118.9116.02.92.53.2147.9121.3119.2
1.2Northern District – total2,413.92,006.22,107.5633.7611.0528.13,047.62,617.22,635.5
Gamla70.159.158.219.920.117.990.079.276.1
Tel Dan222.4167.1185.1152.5137.2114.7374.9304.2299.8
Ha Tanur (Nahal Ayun)180.7105.6105.40.60.80.9181.4106.4106.4
Ha Hula88.882.991.47.57.37.296.390.298.6
Ma’ayanot HaBanyas (Springs)371.4276.6287.8326.1324.1282.3697.5600.7570.0
En Afeq144.6136.9130.20.10.00.1144.7137.0130.3
Yehudiyya86.678.589.03.14.07.989.882.596.9
Brichat HaMeshushim34.728.848.11.71.82.336.430.650.4
Hurshat Tal(2)166.3136.0152.50.30.30.4166.6136.3152.8
Akhziv114.9110.893.60.30.20.2115.1110.993.8
Gan HaShlosha (Sakhne)345.4299.2357.321.821.716.2367.2320.9373.5
Ma’yan Harod148.2122.1112.733.531.923.2181.8154.0135.9
Nahal Amud104.090.590.90.70.41.0104.690.991.8
Nahal Shnir (Hazbany)247.3220.9209.23.21.83.9250.6222.7213.1
Arbel88.691.296.162.359.350.1150.9150.6146.1
1.3Haifa District – total318.1352.5320.91.91.51.1320.0354.0321.9
Dor HaBonim Beach180.9192.6171.10.10.10.0181.1192.7171.1
Nahal HaMe’arot and Hay-Bar  
 Karmel (Wildlife Center) – total120.9117.6117.01.81.41.0122.6119.0118.0
Karmel16.342.332.8....0.016.342.332.8
1.4Central District – total1,877.41,946.51,706.01.30.90.71,878.61,947.41,706.7
Bet Yannay Beach2.225.274.0......2.225.274.0
Yarqon Origins(3)372.2365.5333.31.00.80.5373.3366.3333.9
Nahal Taninim67.551.653.60.30.20.167.851.753.8
Palmahim1,435.41,504.11,245.0......1,435.41,504.11,245.0
1.5Southern District – total1,262.01,245.31,312.0384.5334.1266.71,646.61,579.41,578.7
Eshkol (Park)119.7103.3134.50.10.10.3119.8103.5134.8
National Park Ashkelon433.7495.5483.84.74.64.5438.4500.1488.3
En Gedi(4)388.4357.3403.9316.7261.1203.3705.1618.4607.2
Arad Visitors Center..................
Mizpe Ramon Visitors Center109.2105.0103.117.919.818.0127.1124.8121.1
Hay-Ramon (Wildlife Center)19.916.519.41.21.81.821.218.321.2
Be’erot Campground35.933.032.9......35.933.032.9
Almuggim117.7104.5103.740.643.836.2158.3148.3139.9
  Beasts of Prey Center Yotvata37.530.130.73.32.82.640.833.033.3
2.Historical sites – total2,604.92,559.92,495.62,735.12,419.51,950.85,340.04,979.34,446.4
2.1Jerusalem District(1) – total512.2596.1423.5530.2498.8383.21,042.51,094.9806.7
Mount Gerizim12.411.48.015.111.07.527.522.415.6
Qastel66.978.464.71.71.31.268.679.765.9
Old City Walls366.6438.7275.46.77.66.6373.3446.3282.0
Herodion38.540.144.059.559.044.197.999.188.1
Qumeran27.927.531.4447.3419.9323.7475.2447.4355.1
2.2Northern District – total718.8652.2692.4589.2543.9461.71,308.01,196.11,154.1
Bet Alfa12.513.113.619.320.920.131.834.033.7
Bet She’an70.769.176.0172.3153.3126.8243.0222.4202.8
Bet She’arim58.051.459.88.77.36.366.858.766.1
Bar’am16.016.616.72.91.60.918.918.217.7
Mishmar HaKarmel Ranch25.027.624.2......25.027.624.2
Hamat Teverya24.313.49.65.64.23.729.917.613.3
Hazor14.511.66.721.017.717.135.529.323.7
Yehi’am44.041.839.71.01.40.845.043.240.5
Kokhav HaYarden48.340.331.07.59.711.955.850.042.9
Korazim16.913.011.447.242.137.164.155.148.5
Kursi10.78.58.935.235.733.345.944.242.2
Nimrod Fortress56.647.852.315.814.913.772.462.766.0
Megiddo27.227.229.7186.7172.5134.3213.9199.7164.1
Majrasa-Batiha207.0184.8237.811.313.814.4218.3198.6252.2
Zippori87.085.975.154.748.841.4141.7134.7116.5
2.3Haifa District – total466.6466.1450.7571.8498.3409.11,038.4964.4859.8
Qesariyya466.6466.1450.7571.8498.2409.11,038.4964.4859.8
2.4Central District – total94.483.668.22.72.62.097.186.270.2
Apollonia94.483.668.22.72.62.097.186.270.2
2.5Southern District – total812.9761.8860.91,041.2876.0694.71,854.11,637.71,555.7
Bet Guvrin221.2187.7196.236.437.135.7257.6224.8231.8
Mamshit55.252.558.53.44.24.458.656.762.9
The Good Samaritan18.718.016.611.511.18.130.229.124.7
Massadah(5)301.1295.7362.3864.1697.8529.61,165.2993.5891.9
Ovdat23.022.423.925.523.519.948.446.043.8
En Ovdat(6)136.3129.8143.452.453.547.8188.6183.3191.2
Tel Be’er Sheva26.527.428.334.436.936.860.964.365.1
  Tel Arad31.128.331.713.511.712.544.540.044.2

What are the most popular Israel nature and parks authority sites? From the table above we can get a list of the most popular place both for tourists and Israelis.

Note: check out National Parks And Nature Reserves in Israel, where I cover all of them and talk about subscriptions and combo tickets.

Here are the top 20 National Parks that Israeli love:

Site NameIsraelis – 2019
Palmahim1,435.4
Qesariyya466.6
National Park Ashkelon433.7
En Gedi(4)388.4
Yarqon Origins(3)372.2
Ma’ayanot HaBanyas (Springs)371.4
Old City Walls366.6
Gan HaShlosha (Sakhne)345.4
Massadah(5)301.1
Nahal Shnir (Hazbany)247.3
Tel Dan222.4
Bet Guvrin221.2
Me’arat Avshalom (stalactites cave)220.2
Majrasa-Batiha207.0
Dor HaBonim Beach180.9
Ha Tanur (Nahal Ayun)180.7
Hurshat Tal(2)166.3
Eynot Zukim (En Feshcha)149.4
Ma’yan Harod148.2
En Prat145.0

And here are the top 20 National Parks that tourists love:

Site NameTourists – 2019
Massadah(5)864.1
Qesariyya571.8
Qumeran447.3
Ma’ayanot HaBanyas (Springs)326.1
En Gedi(4)316.7
Megiddo186.7
Bet She’an172.3
Tel Dan152.5
Arbel62.3
Herodion59.5
Zippori54.7
En Ovdat(6)52.4
Korazim47.2
Coral beach40.6
Bet Guvrin36.4
Kursi35.2
Tel Be’er Sheva34.4
Ma’yan Harod33.5
Ovdat25.5
Gan HaShlosha (Sakhne)21.8

Notes:

  • (2) Incl. The Tal Campground.
  • (3) Incl. Afeq Park.
  • (4) Incl. Nahal David, Nahal Arugot, and En Gedi Archeological Site.
  • (5) Incl. Massadah and Massadah National Park Western Approach.
  • (6) Incl. Zinnim Cliff.

As I saw in other statistic data (that is not presented in this post), Israeli prefer mostly recreational sites. Many of them are beaches, and most of them are suitable for hot weather (either water or caves). And tourists prefer historical sites.

Satisfaction with the visit to Israel

I want to end this post on a positive note by answering whether you should visit Israel.

Tourists were asked to rate their satisfaction with three aspects of their visit to Israel, on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 indicating a low level of satisfaction and 5 indicating a high level of comfort).
93.3% of the tourists rated their visit as generally “very good” or “excellent.”
The average level of tourist satisfaction was 4.3.

And the best sign for satisfied tourists is returning tourists.

54.2% of the tourists visited Israel for the first time, while 45.8% had already visited Israel. Among the latter category (N=8,268), approximately 77.4% had either made their previous visit to Israel up to two years before the current visit.

Others would say that returning tourists is a sign that 8.2 nights is not enough to get familiar with Israel. And I agree.

What was the most interesting Israel tourism statistic? What did you already know, and what surprised you? Tell us in the comments below.

That’s all for today, and I’ll see you in future travels!

Stay Tuned!

   

Additional Resources

Here are several resources that I created to help travelers: And if you have any questions then check out Useful Information For Tourists To Israel.  
Did not find what you were looking for? Email me at [email protected], and I will do my best to answer your questions.

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