Every other day we hear rants and ramblings about how Israel is isolated, but the non-political sphere tends to think otherwise. The UN Data Organisation has just updated the world tourism data, and lo and behold, Israel is doing better than ever.
I chose to equate Israel to Iran, who head the Israeli isolation myth, and Egypt, a country dependent on tourism. As you can see, after the big drop in arriving tourists in the onset of the first Intifada in 2000, the tourism industry slowly recovered to it pre-genocidal Arab terrorism onslaught against Israel, and now stands at 2.82 Mn arrivals in 2011. (data for 2012 appear even higher, with a record breaking July). Iran has seen a steady growth of arriving tourists, and as of 2011, stands at 3.35 Mn. However, with 10 times the population and 80 times the land area, Iran is noticeably trailing Israel in the per capita revenue, which I will come to later.
Egypt is a whole different story. There’s a sharp decline in arriving tourists between 2010 and 2011, and it doesn’t take a genius to know why (hint: think of a season). With tourism being one of the most important revenue source for the country, a 32.4% reduction in the number of tourists, from 14 to 9.5 Mn, is substantial.
However, it’s not the quantity but the quality of the arrivals, specifically, how much money they spend in their host country:
Yes, despite the threefold number of tourists arriving in Egypt, the expenditure is only twice as much as Israel, 10.4 $Bn and 5.6 $Bn respectively. To put it in layman’s terms, Israel sees richer tourists, and they spend more money. It might also be a result of higher costs of living and transportation in Israel, but the increase of arrivals kind of makes that argument irrelevant, or at least, not as acute as some might say.
Iran is lagging far, far behind. with no data for 2011, and a total expenditure of 3.05 $Bn, means that the per capita revenue is around 41 $. It’s no wonder then that Iran’s GDP per capita, even with their petroleum industry, is 6,360$, while poor old isolated Israel’s GDP per capita is 31,986$.
About the AuthorDan Smith has been exposing anti-Israel fallacies since the first time he opened the world wide web on Netscape Navigator, sometime in the late 90's. His lack of formal journalistic, political and sociological education means he is still capable of objective, unbiased views and opinions. A judge of media, pundits and media pundits.
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