The Israel Ministry of Tourism says tourism arrival numbers, for the first time in more than two years, are approaching the same record-breaking numbers of summer, 2019.
This upward trend comes on the heels of the country reopening to international travellers regardless of vaccination status in March.
"We are thrilled that travellers from all over the world are eager to visit Israel again; ever since our total reopening to all travellers, we are seeing an influx of visitors," said Eyal Carlin, Tourism Commissioner for North America. "With new hotels, restorations and renovations to many historical sites, new tour offerings, and new restaurants in every region we are seeing that the demand to visit Israel is very high--and with all the amazing things to do in Israel, there's never been a better time to visit."
Since March of this year, the Ministry has seen exponential growth month over month.
During June of 2022, Israel saw 112.7k North American tourists (excluding day visitors and cruise passengers) while in June of 2019 there were around 131.8k North American tourists who entered the country.
"It's exciting to see continuous growth in travel to Israel from the Canadian market," said Gal Hana, Director Counsel of Canada for the Israel Ministry of Tourism. "With a number of upgrades in accessibility, hotel openings, and of course the natural beauty of the country Israel should be at the top of everyone's travel list this year!"
Focused on tourism
Israel's Ministry of Tourism says 107 entrepreneurs have applied for grants to establish new hotels.
Investors are seeking to convert existing buildings to hotels and expand existing buildings or restore them to their original purpose, the Ministry says.
The Israel Ministry of Tourism has earmarked NIS 165 million ($49 million) in grants to support these plans.
Numerous hotels have opened over the last six months and more plan to open throughout 2022 and 2023 including the Six Senses Shaharut, Brut Brown Hotel, The David Kempinski Tel Aviv, Nobu Hotel Tel Aviv, Isrotel's Port Tower Hotel, Alberto Tel Aviv, and more.
Tel Aviv Pride 2022 saw more than 10,000 tourists this year and the Pride parade, which took place on June 10, saw over 170,000 people marching and celebrating.
Free guided tours to the public were brought back in February meaning, tens of thousands of free tours are now being offered every day of the week.
To date, more than 1,800 tour guides have responded to the invitation to participate in this project and tours are being offered in English, Russian, French and Arabic in addition to the Hebrew-guided tours currently available.
Visitors can also expect to see more than 300 wineries, new breweries and distilleries including Jerusalem's new Thinker's Distillery, more restaurants in local markets using fresh local produce, vegan options galore, and more.
Accessibility in the Old City has greatly improved, the Ministry says.
Nearly four miles of streets and alleyways in the Old City have been made accessible with the installation of hand railings and ramps.
Another great advancement is the addition of the app, Step-Hear, which assists and supports the visually impaired.
Western Wall infrastructure upgrades, meanwhile, are in progress.
As one of Israel's most iconic and top-visited sites, Israel has approved a $35 million upgrade to the Western Wall.
The plan aims to encourage more visits to the site by improving public transportation accessibility, developing new educational programs and continuing existing development projects.
Beginning on Oct. 29, American Airlines will be upgrading its Miami to Tel Aviv flight to daily service.
El Al has resumed their non-stop service from Boston's Logan Airport and added a third weekly flight to the destination, and in May, Delta announced a non-stop route from Boston.