“On Friday (November 16), Israel broke the all-time 2017 record for incoming tourism to Israel of 3.6 million tourists. This new record follows on from October’s record as the highest monthly record ever registered in Israel for incoming tourism with nearly half a million tourists visited Israel.

(PICTURE: One of our 7-8 groups a year ?

“Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin noted that these excellent statistics, which are recorded month after month, are a direct result of the Ministry of Tourism’s innovative marketing activities. By the end of 2018, the ministry expects to reach and even surpass the 4 million tourist mark. An increase of tens of percent in incoming tourism over the past two years has placed Israel among the world’s fastest-growing countries in tourism. Since the beginning of the year, the tourism industry has contributed more than NIS 18 billion to the Israeli economy.”

(STEVE’S NOTE: I find this fascinating, especially since we started taking groups to Israel in 2005 when NO ONE was going. Israel was empty and we “owned” the sites. Now it is so crowded I look back at the good old days with fond memories. Now everyone and their brother are taking groups to Israel — but remember, not all pilgrimages are created equal.)