Israel Marks Record Tourism in First Five Months

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- In the first five months of 2012, Israel welcomed 1.42 million tourists, surpassing a 2010 record by 4 percent.

May saw around 321,000 tourists, also a 4 percent rise from May 2010 and 2011, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported.

Despite cancellations in 2011 attributed to uprisings in surrounding countries, such as Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Jordan, Libya, Syria and others, during the "Arab spring," Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov said record number of tourists has helped the economy tremendously.

"The records and the constant increases in incoming tourism are proof that investment in the sector contributes to increasing revenue for the country and creates thousands of new jobs," Misezhnikov said.

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