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September 30, 2015 7:36 am

Tourism to Israel Makes Comeback After Gaza-War Slump

avatar by Jonathan Benedek / Tazpit News Agency

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Tourism to Israel is recovering, following the slump caused by Operation Protective Edge. Photo: Twitter.

Tourism to Israel is recovering, following the slump caused by Operation Protective Edge. Photo: Twitter.

Tourism in Israel has made a comeback from its downward spiral during and shortly after last summer’s war in Gaza.

“The recovery trend after Operation Protective Edge continues apace,” Tourism Minister Yariv Levin recently stated. “I am pleased to see that the statistics [for 2015] show an increase of more than 40 percent from 2014, and an almost complete return to the 2013 numbers.”

The industry took a major hit during the war, and not only because potential tourists cancelled their trips. Many countries, including the United States, briefly banned flights from traveling to Israel, out of concern that planes were vulnerable to rocket-fire from Gaza.

Data from Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics shows an increase in tourist entries during August, 2015, compared to August, 2014. This past August, there were approximately 213,000 tourists, which was 45% more than there were in August last year. Additionally, there was a 75% increase in day visitors during August, 2015, as compared to the previous August.

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Meanwhile, the first half of 2015 showed a significant upward trend in tourism, as well.

The tourist rebound has encouraged Levin to allocate more resources to Israel’s tourism industry. “With the increase in the marketing budget, I have given the go-ahead for aggressive and focused marketing campaigns for the winter season, in order to secure this welcome upward trend,” he said. “I am convinced that, with hard work, we can see an increase in incoming tourism to Israel.”

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