New data obtained by Israel Hayom analyzes the rising number of tourists arriving in the Jewish state, including visitors’ age, religion and the nature of their trips.

A record-high 2.9 million tourists visited Israel in 2016. According to a survey by Mertens Hoffman Management Consultants, 47 percent had already visited Israel at least once before, and 80 percent said they would be willing to visit again.

Fifty-four percent of the tourists who visited Israel last year were Christians. Of the Christian visitors, 38 percent were Catholic, 28 percent were Protestant and 28 percent were Eastern Orthodox. Jews comprised only 24 percent of tourists visiting Israel in 2016. An additional 15 percent of tourists said they had no religious affiliation. Three percent of the tourists were Muslims, followed by Hindus, Buddhists, Baha'is and members of other religions.

Nearly half of the tourists who arrived in Israel in 2016 were more than 45 years old. Only 18 percent were younger than 25. More than half (57 percent) came to Israel on their own, and 12 percent came as part of family groups of three or more members. The average stay per tourist was 11.4 nights. At least 64 percent organized their own trips, compared to the 27 percent who visited Israel as part of a tour group.

Once in Israel, 63 percent of tourists stayed in hotels or resorts, 23 percent stayed with relatives or friends, 7 percent rented apartments and 2 percent stayed in youth hostels. JN

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