According to statistics announced by the Israel’s Statistics Bureau, the number of tourists visiting Israel in the first month of 2015 drops 16.1 percent compare to January 2014. According to the industry, Gaza conflict and economic crisis in Russia are the main reasons of the drop in arrivals.
According to the data, the main reason for the drop in the number of tourists is a total collapse in one-day visits. While 150,000 tourists arrived in Israel last month via air, reflecting a 3.4% increase, the number of day visitors was only 14,000 – a 70.9% drop from the same period last year. The one-day visitors are usually Russian tourists who visit Egypt or Turkey and stop in Israel for one day.
On the other hand, number of Israelis traveling abroad increased. A total of 294,000 Israelis exited the country in January 2015 (reflecting a 10.5 percent increase from January 2014), 275,000 of them traveled by plane (up 13.1 percent from the same period last year). 8 percent of Israelis' flights abroad in January were by Israelis who live overseas and arrived in the country for a visit.
While some 150,000 arrived during January by air, the number of visitors on a day's stopover en route to other Middle Eastern destinations, including Turkey and Egypt, stands at a mere 14,000, which represents a 70 percent drop compared to January 2014.
Russian tourists are the second-largest group of foreigners to visit Israel, but with the plummeting value of the ruble – which has decreased by over 45 percent this year alone – the decline is slated to be particularly dramatic.