Israel Sets Tourism Record for February

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JERUSALEM, Israel - February 2012 was a record-setting month for Israeli tourism, with more than 232,000 visitors, a 6 percent increase from February 2011, the Tourism Office reported on Monday.

Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov said "focused and intensive international marketing activity" played a key role in "the increased momentum of tourism to Israel," despite "regional turmoil and the ongoing economic crisis in Europe."

"The Ministry of Tourism will continue its marketing operations worldwide, with emphasis on the markets of China, India, South Korea, Russia and South America," Misezhnikov said.

While the majority of tourists travel to Israel by air, some enter via land borders and crossings.

For example, 81,000 visitors to Eilat, Israel's southernmost resort town, entered via Taba, the border crossing with Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. That figure represents four times the amount of visitors from February 2011, when the political unrest in Egypt severely reduced tourism to popular Egyptian and Israeli resorts on the Red Sea.

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