Some 3.5 million tourists entered Israel in 2012, a 5 percent increase from 2011, according to data released on Tuesday by the Central Bureau of Statistics.
In terms of outgoing tourism, 4.3 million Israelis traveled overseas in 2012, a 1% decrease from 2011.
The number of incoming tourists would likely have been even higher if not for Israel's eight-day Pillar of Defense military operation in the Gaza Strip in November. Incoming tourism fell 19% in November and December. In December, only 239,000 tourists visited Israel, a relatively low number compared to previous Decembers.
In 2012, some 2.5 million tourists arrived in Israel on airplanes, a 6% increase from 2011. Via land crossings, 403,000 tourists entered Israel in 2012.
The largest sources of tourism for Israel in 2012 were the U.S. and Russia, with around 600,000 tourists from each country. However, many of the tourists from Russia only made one-day visits to Israel, without staying overnight.
Other countries that were significant sources of tourism for Israel in 2012 were France (300,000), Germany (250,000) and Britain (200,000).