The first half of 2017 recorded the best six months ever in the history of incoming tourism, according to a Tourism Ministry statement.

“We are implementing marketing activities and innovative processes to brand Israel and to bring new airlines and new routes into Israel and all this activity proves itself, month after month.. The significant increase in incoming tourism numbers makes an exceptional contribution to the Israeli economy and workforce. I am convinced that, with the correct activities, we will see continue to see good results in the coming months,” said Tourism Minister Yariv Levin.

According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, Israel recorded a 76% increase in tourism from China; a 30% increase in tourism from Russia and a 20% increase in tourism from the US in the first half of 2017 as compared to the same six months in 2016.

June of this year logged a 28.4% increase in incoming tourism, or 303,000 tourist entries, as compared to June 2016 figures.

The Tourism Ministry reports that in the six months — January-June 2017 — 1.74 million tourist entries were recorded, 26% increase on the same period last year (1.38 million) and 24% more than in 2015.

“The June tourism statistics bring us to record levels for incoming tourism in the first six months of the year.  Our policy continues to prove itself and to bear fruit and we can see that the right marketing strategy can bring Israel to new heights,” said Levin.