JERUSALEM, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- Incoming tourism to Israel has sharply increased, continuing the recovery trend of the industry, which was badly damaged amidst security unrest last year, the tourism ministry said Thursday.
The latest figures for January 2017 showed an increase of 27 percent in incoming tourism in January 2016, with a record number of 210,000 tourists, a spokeswoman for the ministry said in a statement.
Much of the increase was attributed to tourism from emerging markets such as India and China, with the number of Chinese tourists increased more than 300 percent over the past year.
"For the last few consecutive months, we have witnessed record figures in incoming tourism to Israel," Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said in the statement.
According to Levin, the growth was due to marketing efforts. "This is no coincidence, but rather policy," he said.
"The dramatic increase teaches us that Israel is seen as an attractive and varied tourism destination. I am convinced that if we continue this path we will see additional significant increases in the future," he said.
Tourism, which accounts for about seven percent of Israel's economy, saw a sharp drop following Israel's war in Gaza in 2014 and then again in the wake of a wave of Palestinian knife attacks in September 2015.