Aug. 5 (UPI) -- Nearly 2.6 million tourists have visited Israel so far in 2019 -- a rise of nearly 10 percent since last year, the Central Bureau of Statistics said Monday.
The majority of the tourists, 49 percent, visited from United States -- followed by France, Russia, Germany and the United Kingdom, the figures showed. The statistics said tourists have spent about $3.7 billion so far this year, and most have arrived by airplane.
Open Skies aviation reforms have made airfares cheaper in Israel, which brings in tourists and encourages Israelis to travel abroad, Haaretz reported.
July alone brought more than 322,000 tourists to Israel, up 10 percent from mid-2018 and 19 percent from mid-2017.
"July was one of the best months for incoming tourism in recent years," Israeli tourism minister Yariv Levin said. "Israel has become a summer holiday destination as well, and we continue to prepare for further breaking records in the coming months."