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Tourism Figure Up Slightly

Tourism figures for August were two percent higher than for the same month last year, according to official figures. The total for the month was 64,500. In August, 1974, there were 1000 fewer. But the increase stemmed mainly from a dramatic rise–84 percent–in the number of cruise ship passengers alighting here for one or two-day excursions.

Tourist traffic arriving at Ben Gurion Airport–which generally refers to people staying for longer periods of time–was down three percent from August 1974. The January-August figure for 1975 is 402,000–an eight percent drop compared to the same period last year.

Breaking the figures down according to countries of origin, statisticians found a steep drop of 28 percent in arrivals from the U.S. in the January-August 1975 period compared to the same period last year, European tourism, on the other hand, is up. There was a 20 percent rise from Italy, 16 percent from France and Norway, 15 percent from Spain and nine percent from West Germany.

Tourism Minister Moshe Kol has cited the drop from the U.S. as additional reason why the government should lift the ban on charter fares without delay. El Al and the Transport Ministry favor retaining the ban.