By David Dolan
Despite the fighting in neighboring Syria, political upheaval in Egypt and talk of a possible Israeli military strike on Iranian nuclear production targets, tourists have continued to flock to the Holy Land in record numbers so far this year.
The government’s Central Bureau of Statistics released a report in mid June showing that nearly one and a half million foreigners visited the Jewish State during the first five months of 2012. The government said this was a 4% rise from the number of overseas tourists who came here during the same period last year.
Investment in Tourism Pays Off
Reacting to the figures, Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov told reporters that "the constant increases in incoming visitors is proof that investment in the tourism sector contributes to increasing revenue for the country and creates thousands of new jobs." The Israeli government official, who was born in Moscow, noted that an increasing number of tourists are coming from Russia and other parts of the former Soviet Union, while tourism from countries hit hard by the banking and housing crisis of recent years, especially in the European Union, has been declining.
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