Spike in Chinese Tourists Visiting Israel

Chinese tourists watch the motorcade of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he arrives to meet the Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on May 9, 2013. Netanyahu is on a five day visit to China and will meet with Chinese President Xi …

Ynetnews reports: There was a 112 percent increase in the number of Chinese tourists visiting Israel last month, while the overall number of visitors from China since the beginning of the year rose 53 percent compared to last year.

According to the Tourism Ministry, some 6,400 Chinese tourists arrived in Israel in July 2016, compared to some 3,000 in July 2015. Since the beginning of the year, 38,832 Chinese visited the Holy Land, compared to some 25,000 between January and July 2015.

One of the reasons for the rise in tourists from China is the fact that Hainan Airlines starting offering flights to Israel. According to a report by the Israel Airports Authority, in July 2016 the company flew 5,575 passengers on its Tel Aviv-Beijing line, 660 more passengers than El Al, which was the only airline flying to China up until three months ago.

In light of the increase in the number of Chinese tourists coming to Israel, the Tourism and Interior Ministries decided to approve a request made by the Israel Incoming Tour Operators Association to cancel the fee for tour groups.

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