Statistical characteristics of tourism to Israel in 2012

 58% are Christians; about half are Catholics; 23% are Jewish; the remainder consisted of other religions or undeclared religion.

 62% visiting Israel in 2011 were first-timers; 38% had visited before.

 29% defined the goal of their visit as pilgrimage; 24% as touring the country; 9% as vacation and recreation.

 62% defined the goal of their visit as tourism; 20% came to visit family and friends, and 13% were here on business.

 75% stayed in hotels; 16% with relatives or friends; 5% in youth hostels or Christian hostels; 4 percent stated in apartments they own or rented.

Visits to cities/sites

77% of inbound tourists visited Jerusalem, making it the most visited city by incoming tourists. Tel Aviv came in second with 56%, and the Dead Sea, with 51%, came in third. In fourth place was the Sea of Galilee area (44%) and Nazareth (35%).

Among the most visited sites in the country: the Western Wall (65%), which attracted the most visitors; followed by the Jewish Quarter (64%); the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (58%); the Via Dolorosa )58%); and the Mount of Olives (56%).

Satisfaction

Tourists reported that they were “very satisfied” with their visit or that it was “excellent.” (on a scale of 4.2 to 5, the latter being excellent). Among the services receiving the highest grades were: archaeological sites; tour guides (4.2); personal security (4.0); beaches and the sea (3.8); airport facilities (3.8).

Visitors were less satisfied with cleanliness in public toilets (3.4); duty free shops (3.4); taxis (3.2); and value for money (3.1).

2012 saw a general improvement in visitor satisfaction over 2011.