Dec. 1, 2019 Breaking Israel News, David Nekrutman
(Note: The above photo is of our living room blanket, with the Lion of Judah, and added by Steve Martin, Love For His People Founder/President. It is not part of the original story. But it could be!)
This year, Israel stands to make over $6 billion in incoming tourism and beat last year’s record of 4.1 million people visiting her. At the end of October, British billionaire Richard Branson arrived in Israel to launch and inaugurate Virgin airline’ new route from London Heathrow to Ben Gurion Airport. As he stepped off the plane, with flight attendants waving Israeli and British flags by his side, he kneeled and kissed Israeli ground.
Three weeks ago, El Al began direct flights from Chicago to Israel, and last week, they announced direct flights from Australia to Israel beginning in 2020. Before the weekend, Bolivia renewed its diplomatic ties with Israel and President Reuven Rivlin met with Prince Ghazi bin Mohammed in London, where they discussed collaboration on tourism initiatives. Greece is increasing its holiday cruises to Israel.
It is expected that over 150,000 Chinese tourists will be visiting Israel this year, a 67% jump from last year. All this to say, it is incredible that Israel is becoming a destination for many to visit.
Fifty-five percent of visitors to Israel are Christian. They come to Israel to walk the paths of their past and enhance their walk with God. Some frame their visit as an active and tangible way to demonstrate their support for the country and the Jewish people.
We, as Jews, must never forget that in times of crisis, it was Christians who continued to visit Israel and declare to us “you’re not alone.” Any tourism momentum is credited to our friends.