ISRAEL - Record 3.6 Million Tourists

Arno Froese

The figure, an all-time record, represents a 25 percent increase over the previous year, the Israelis business daily Globes reported, citing Ministry of Tourism statistics.

The largest number of tourists, close to 700,000, came from the United States. Tourists from Russia represented the second largest group, with some 307,000 tourists.  They were followed by France, with 284,000, Germany with 202,000 and the United Kingdom with 185,000.

Some 59 percent of the tourists were visiting Israel for the first time, according to Globes. Twenty-five percent said the purpose of their visit was religious or a pilgrimage. Some 24 percent said they were visiting relatives and friends, and 23 percent said they were planning on touring and hiking. Six percent came with an organized tour package.

Jerusalem was a destination for 78 percent of tourists in 2017, followed by Tel Aviv-Jaffa at 67 percent, the Dead Sea at 49 percent and Tiberias and the Galilee region at 35 percent.

The tourism ministry reported that the 2017 tourism contributed some $5.8 billion to Israel’s economy.

-www.jta.org, 28 December 2017

Arno's commentary

At present, France is the undisputed champion when it comes to foreign tourists, with over 60 million. In distant second comes the US with 43 million, and Spain 33 million. For Europe, the number stands at 259 million arrivals.

For Israel, being a small country boycotted by most of the Islamic nations, the 3.6 million number is quite impressive.

But that’s not all; we read the following in Zechariah 8:23: “Thus saith the Lord of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.”

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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