Mumbai– A record 34 per cent more Indian tourists visited Israel between January-October this year compared to the same period in 2016, an official said here on Tuesday.

According to data released by the Israel Ministry of Tourism (IMOT), October 2017 alone witnessed a phenomenal 58 per cent growth of Indian arrivals to Israel compared to the same month last year.

Israel witnessed a whopping three million tourist arrivals this year, including 49,000 from India who visited Israel till October.

“This has been the best year of incoming tourist arrivals for Israel and India continues to be an important contributor for us. Tourism is an important component of the Israeli economy and since the beginning of 2017, it has brought in $4.1 billion,” said IMOT India Director Hassan Madah.

In 2016, 45,000 Indians visited Israel. The IMOT hopes the figure will climb to 60,000 by December 2017 end, Madah said.

Israel Tourism Minister, Yariv Levin recently greeted the three-millionth tourist Ioana Isac and her partner Mihai Georgescu of Romania with a festive ceremony at the airport, they were escorted to a waiting limousine by the Tourism Ministry Director-General Amir Halevi for a dream holiday prepared for them.

It included a surprise visit paid by Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who met the excited couple and took them on a private tour of the Old City of Jerusalem, starting with the Tower of David Museum to the ancient fort, that traces its foundations back to the Second Temple Period in the first century BC.

The Ministry of Tourism is now working with several airlines to increase their flights and seat capacity into Israel, designing several reforms to increase supply in the tourism industry and reduce the vacationing costs, offer increased assistance for constructing new hotels and offer international entrepreneurs opportunities to build hotels in that country. (IANS)