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Israel Bullish on Tourism As 559,000 Visit This Year

Israel’s tourist industry will have its best year ever if the momentum of the first five months of 1987 is maintained, according to the Ministry of Tourism.

The Ministry reported Friday that 559,000 tourists arrived from January through May, an increase of 24 percent over the same period last year and four percent above the same period in 1985, which was the record year for tourism.

About 470,000 tourists arrived by air, a 23 percent increase over last year; and 82,000 came overland, up 45 percent from last year. The latter included 48,000 tourists who arrived from Egypt. About 45,700 arrived by sea during the first five months of the year. These included 9,900 foreign seamen, mainly from the U.S. Sixth Fleet on shore leave, and the rest from cruise ships. In the same period of 1986, 1,800 foreign seamen visited Israel and 24,000 were cruise passengers, the Ministry reported.