According to the Central Bureau of Statistics of Israel,
from January to June 2018 about 2.1 million tourist entries were
recorded – an increase of 19 percent over the same period in 2017 (1.74
million) and 26 percent more than in 2016.

The United States
remains the largest source country for incoming tourists, with 470,200
tourist entries in 2018, 17% more than 2017. More Canadians than ever
are also traveling to Israel with a 14% visitor increase in 2018
compared to 2017.
 
The signicant increase in tourism is a result of
the Ministry of Tourism’s intensive marketing efforts and activities
around the world. See below for some exciting new hotel openings,
festivals, and museum exhibits that’s drawing tourists to Israel.
New hotels:

  • The Drisco – After a $35 million investment and more than a decade of intensive work led by architect and interior designer Mr. Ari Shaltiel,
    The Drisco hotel officially opened for reservations in June. The
    42-room hotel presents a unique mixture of old world elegance and new
    world comforts in a prime Tel Aviv location. The property is steps away
    from the beaches, Rothschild Blvd, the charming neighborhood of Neve
    Tzedek, Jaffa’s flea market and Old Jaffa. The luxury boutique property
    perfectly captures the essence of the hip, urban Israeli city and offers
    savvy travelers an upscale hospitality experience enhanced by the
    storied past of the building.

 

  • The Dave South Brown Hotels
    is opening The Dave South in September 2018 in the Nahalat Binyamin
    area in the heart of Tel Aviv. The property joins The Dave West, the
    inaugural property that opened earlier this year in Brown Hotels’ new
    brand of low cost, youthful boutique hotels in Tel Aviv, designed for
    fun loving urbanites eager to explore Tel Avivian life. This summer at
    The Dave West, guests can arrange for various experiences at the hotel’s
    limited-time pop up, including haircuts and tattoos. Haircuts are
    offered by Barbaria, a well-known Tel Avivian male grooming
    establishment and the extra-adventurous can get a unique tattoo created
    by Sara Kori, a rising star in the local tattoo scene. Both services are
    available for hotel and outside guests. Travelers should plan a visit
    over a Tuesday or Friday to visit the Nahalat Binyamin Market, which
    features a variety of arts and crafts presented by over 200 local
    artists.

 

  • The Lighthouse Hotel – The Lighthouse
    Hotel, another new property by Brown Hotels, is opening in July 2018.
    Just a block away from the Tel Aviv beaches, the new Lighthouse Hotel
    will feature 103 rooms with stunning sea and city views, wellness
    center, a private and corporate event complex, rooftop garden and a
    fashionable Rooftop Bar with unparalleled 360° views of Tel Aviv and the
    Mediterranean. Two outdoor swimming pools will be added by the summer
    of 2020.

 

  • The Link Hotel & HubDan Hotels
    announced the opening of a new business property in the center of Tel
    Aviv called the Link Hotel & Hub. At an investment of more than $11
    million, this new hotel is aimed at the new generation of business
    travelers and tourists, offering a concept of “connecting” contemporary
    design, Tel Aviv’s vibrant social scene, street art and advanced
    technology. To help arriving guests get quickly to their rooms with a
    minimum of fuss, The LINK has eliminated many procedures typical of
    traditional hotels: no cash transactions, no reception desk, no bellboys
    and no concierge. The helpful multi-tasking 24/7 Service Crew operates
    on an “everyone does everything” basis. Located on Shaul Ha’melech
    Boulevard, the accommodations are close to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art,
    Opera House, Cameri Theatre, Rabin Square and the popular Sarona Market.

 

  • The Setai, Sea of Galilee Expansion – The Setai-Sea of Galilee, one of two properties within The Setai Hotels
    brand portfolio in Israel, will add 47 new standalone “Kinneret
    Villas,” each featuring a private garden and an infinity pool, in August
    2018. Having officially opened in June 2017 with 110 luxurious villas
    and suites, The Setai Sea of Galilee is a pastoral spa resort situated
    on the eastern shore of the historic Sea of Galilee (or Kinneret) that
    overlooks the verdant vistas of Northern Israel. The hotel has set a new
    standard for luxury hospitality in Northern Israel and is a
    much-welcomed addition to the region’s rapidly expanding hospitality
    offerings.

Upcoming activities:

  • Israel Museum Fashion Exhibit
    This summer, Jerusalem’s Israel Museum opened Fashion Statements, the
    first exhibition to examine the broad spectrum of Israeli fashion
    design, a pioneering presentation on the origins of Israel’s
    globally-trendsetting fashion design. Fashion Statements is a central
    part of the Museum’s 2018 celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the
    establishment of Israel. The exhibition will be open for visiting
    fashionistas through April 2019.

 

  • World Lacrosse Championship
    – An estimated 7,000 tourists are expected to visit Israel from July
    12-21 to watch or participate in the World Lacrosse Championship, taking
    place in the coastal city of Netanya. This will be the largest ever
    championship and the first one to be held in Israel. Israel’s
    opportunity to host the World Lacrosse Championship is thanks in part to
    the country’s recent success in the international lacrosse arena, in
    which Israel won second place in the 2016 European championship and
    seventh place in the most recent World Championship in 2014. Netanya was
    chosen to host the event due to the city’s achievements in sports and
    its success in hosting a variety of international competitions,
    including the European swimming championships, world surfing
    championships, international tennis tournaments and European football
    (soccer) championships.

 

  • Jerusalem Beer Festival – More
    than 120 different beers from Israeli and international breweries will
    be represented at this year’s Jerusalem Beer Festival, taking place from
    August 29-30. The festival is celebrating its 14th year, with over
    20,000 visitors expected to attend to taste the beers from big
    well-known brands to local boutique breweries. This event has become an
    annual party, putting Jerusalem on the map with dozens of other top beer
    locales around the world. The beers at this year’s festival will come
    from countries including Belgium, Denmark, Austria, Germany, Japan,
    Czech Republic, Netherlands, Thailand and more.

Also, the
Israel Ministry of Tourism redesigned and launched a mobile app to help
international tourists get the most out of their vacation to Israel from
the early planning stages to their time exploring on the ground. The
app is tailored to travelers specific needs and areas of interest and
users can search via specific cities and regions, restaurants and
hotels, or by searching different categories near their vicinity on a
map. The application has several other features that come in handy for
visitors, including a currency conversion calculator. Android users can
download from Google Play, and iOS users can download via the App Store.