Israel Ministry of Tourism – 2019 Inbound Tourism Survey

94.4% of tourists ranked their visit as good to excellent

In the shadow of a six month ban on incoming tourism, The Israel Ministry of Tourism has published its 2019 Inbound Tourism Survey Annual Report, carried out by Mertens Hoffman based on responses by 27,000 tourists. Key findings from the annual report include:

  • 94.4% of tourists ranked their visit as good to excellent
  • Revenue from incoming tourism: about NIS 23 billion (excluding flight costs)
  • 51.6% of tourists stayed in a hotel or holiday village
  • Jerusalem is the most visited city (80.3%); followed by Tel Aviv-Jaffa (74%)
  • Average expenditure per tourist in Israel: $ 2,424 as part of an organized group and $1,079 per stay for an independent tourist (excluding flight costs)
  • About 44% of tourists had visited Israel at least once
  • Approximately 74.6% of the tourists arrived in Israel independently (FITs), not as part of an organized group

You can see the full breakdown of the results below:

Revenue from incoming tourism in 2019 is estimated at NIS 23 billion (excluding flight costs).

The most visited city: Jerusalem in first place with 80.3% of all tourists, followed by Tel Aviv (74%), Dead Sea (52.3%) and the Galilee region (36.1%).

Satisfaction with the visit: 94.4% of tourists ranked their visit as good to excellent. 60.4% of tourists ranked value for money on their visit as good to excellent.

Average expenditure per tourist in Israel: The average expenditure per tourist in Israel in 2019 is estimated at $1,431 per stay (excluding flight costs), compared with $1,402 the previous year. The average daily expenditure in 2019 stands at $149, compared to $156 in 2018. For a tourist visiting as part of an organised group, the average expenditure is $296 per day in 2019, compared to $107 per day for the independent traveler (FIT).

Average cost of accommodation: $478 in 2019 (as opposed to $657 in 2018)

Age of Tourist: 20.6% of tourists were aged 24 and under, 21.3% were between the ages 25-44, 33.3% between 45-54 and 24.8% aged 55 and over.

Size of family group: The average size of a family group was 2.0. 39.8% of the tourists arrived on their own, 40.6% in couples and 19.6% as a family group of 3 people or more.

Religious affiliation: More than half of the tourists visiting Israel are Christian (53.9%), just over a quarter are Jewish (25.6%), and approximately 1.4% are Moslems.

The purpose of their visit: 29.4% defined their visit for relatives and friends, 25.2% for touring and sightseeing, 18.8% for pilgrimage purposes, 14.2% for recreation and leisure, 8.3% for business and delegations, and 4.1% for other purposes.

Type of accommodation: 51.6% of tourists stayed in hotels or holiday villages. 26.8% stayed with relatives or friends; 13.6% in short-term holiday rentals; 5% in hostels; 1.3% in Christian guesthouses and 1.7% in other accommodation.

Length of stay: The average length of stay for all tourists was 10.2 nights. For tourists staying no longer than 30 days in Israel, the average stay was 8.1 nights.

Sharon E. Bershadsky, Director, Israel Government Tourist Office UK: “After a difficult couple of months for the tourism industry, we’re pleased to see such strong figures for 2019. In Israel, you will find warm weather, vibrant culture and delicious food and while travel in 2020 has been relatively non-existent, Israel is ready to welcome back visitors as soon as it is safe to do so.”

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