Masada became the most visited pay-to-enter tourist site in 2010, climbing above the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo and the Ramat Gan Safari Park, according to Dun & Bradstreet Israel.
Last year, some 762,992 people visited Masada, the ancient fortification near the Dead Sea, while 718,902 people visited the second most popular site, the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo.
Masada reported that its revenue rose 26 percent to NIS 34 million in 2010, compared to NIS 25.7m. in 2009.
The Hermon National Park (Banias), one of the sources of the Jordan River in the Golan, also rose, from ninth place in 2009, to fourth place in 2010, with 663,000 visitors.
The trailways of the Ramat Gan Safari Park weren’t quite as busy in 2010 as in 2009, when the safari park was the second most popular site. In 2010, it fell to fifth most popular pay-to-enter site.
As tourism to Israel grew last year, so too did the overall number of visitors to paid tourist sites across the country. According to Dun & Bradstreet Israel the aggregate revenue of Israel’s top ten pay-to-enter tourist sites rose 13% to NIS 143 million in 2010.
The top 10 sites listed in order:
2. Jerusalem Biblical Zoo
3. Caesarea Antiquities National Park
4. Hermon National Park (Banias)
5. Ramat Gan Safari Park
6. Ein Gedi Nature Reserve
7. Hamat Gader Hot Springs
8. Underwater Observatory, Eilat
9. Kumran Caves, Dead Sea
10. Yamit 2000 Water Park, Holon