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January 29, 2014 3:21 pm

2013 Record Breaking Year for British Tourism to Israel

avatar by Joshua Levitt

Mount Masada. Photo: Wiki Commons.

The Israeli Ministry of Tourism said British tourists to the Jewish state reached a record 217,000, up 5 percent, in 2013, out of 3.54 million people, up 1 per cent, from around the world, the UK’s Jewish Chronicle reported on Tuesday.

The JC cited Israeli Government Tourist Office director Naama Oryan Kaplan as saying that the increase in the number of flights now operating between London and Tel Aviv helped drive the growth from British tourists.

Israeli carrier El Al has also increased the frequency of its flights between the two countries. EasyJet is due to launch a Gatwick to Tel Aviv service in April.

Looking ahead, lower ticket prices because of Israel’s Open Skies agreement with the European Union and the inauguration of Israel’s second international airport, at Timna, near Eilat, in 2016, will make it even easier for Brits to explore Israel.

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Oryan Kaplan told the JC, “Although we are small, our Mediterranean location means we can offer something for everyone, from beach side holidays to weekend city breaks in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, or adventure holidays in the Negev desert, spa breaks in the Dead Sea to touring holidays of the Galilee.”

For the many Jews in Britain, rather than the geography, it is the biblical-modern connections that they seek. “Israel is a unique country with a history that spans back thousands of years,” she said.

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