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Tour operators report 6% decline in Russian tourists in Israel

November 29, 2011, 17:37 UTC+3
Russian tourists’ inflow to Israel declined by 6 percent in January-September as against the same period of last year
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MOSCOW, November 29 (Itar-Tass) — Russian tourists’ inflow to Israel declined by 6 percent in January-September as against the same period of last year, the analytical service of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia said on Tuesday.

Tour operators explain this by a decline in cruise travels to Israel.

“The inflow of cruise tourists is reducing in parallel with the decrease in tourists to Egypt,” said Anna Podgornaya, director-general of Pegas Touristic. “Tourists still eye this region as a vacation destination cautiously, therefore some of them cancel not only their trips to Egypt, but also to the whole region.”

However, “those Russians who are spending their vacations in Egypt do not reject one-day trips to Israel,” she said. “The guided tour runs through Egypt’s resorts that’s why such trips are carried out in full volume.”

According to the Association of Tour Operators of Russia, in January 51,500 Russian tourists visited Israel, of them around 15,000 are cruise tourists.

“As of September the total number of Russian tourists visiting Israel for the first time exceeded 50,000,” the association said. At the same time Russians arriving in Israel for one-day trips in September accounted for almost half of all foreign cruise tourists (33,000).

The Russian federal tourism agency (Rostourism) reported that in the first half of the year 111,000 Russian tourists visited Israel as against 84,000 over the same period of last year.

Over 184,000 Russians visited Israel in 2010 and 135,000 - in 2009.

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