Israeli tourism sees a record year in 2013

A view of the Old City of Jerusalem. Jerusalem was Israel's most popular tourist attraction in 2013. Credit: Wikimedia Commons,

(Israel Hayom/ Exclusive to Israel registered a record 3.5 million tourists in 2013, according to a Central Bureau of Statistics report released Wednesday.

According to the report, the U.S. represented the largest source of incoming tourism, with 623,000 Americans (18 percent of all incoming tourists) visiting in 2013, a 1 percent rise over 2012. Coming in a close second was Russia with 603,000 tourists, a 3 percent rise from 2012. Third was France with 315,000 French tourists arriving in Israel, a 5 percent increase over the previous year.

The most popular tourist attraction was Jerusalem, and 75 percent of tourists said they had visited the capital. Tourists reported being pleased with their visit to Israel, rating Israel 4.3 out of 5.

Israelis traveled outside the country in record numbers in 2013 as well, with no less than 4.8 million Israelis flying abroad, a rise of over half a million from 2012.

Posted on January 9, 2014 .