When Israeli Prime Minister Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in India a few months back, he went back saying, “Jai Hind, Jai Bharat, Jai Israel!” This poignant message from a powerful leader, of arguably the strongest nation in the Middle East, gave a clear signal that India and Israel’s ties concern matters of the heart and are of national importance.

This courteous gesture from Mr. Netanyahu also affirmed that the bond the two countries shared was well beyond the alliances and co-operation in the area of Defence and Agriculture, two fundamental modules where the two democracies stand united in co-operation.

It was, in some ways, a polite repaying of a compliment that PM Modi had offered to a country (when he visited Israel over a year back) that’s a hub of science and tech, a culture that furthers innovation, an expert at countering terrorism, and above all, a nation driven to preserve its people and history.

But implicit in India’s closening ties with Israel is the aspect of tourism and travel.

Quite like India’s magnificent all-round beauty as defined by the grandeur of palaces, the vastness of its rivers, the greenery of its forests, the splendor of its castles and the symbolism of its temples, is the versatility of the Jewish homeland.

Israel’s home to rivers, plateaus, mountains, greens, beaches, apart from being a spiritual homeland that’s birthed not one but three religions of the world. Jerusalem, the piously important Israeli city is the genesis of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Tel Aviv is a melting pot of old world charm and a thriving urban culture.

One cannot avoid the awe-inspiring architecture that’s nestled here. Even the coastal cities are prime centers of innovation, a catalyst for trade, a base to technologies pertaining to wastewater management and other themes, and above all, Israel, as a whole is constantly at the forefront of channeling it’s creative and entrepreneurial spirit.

For all this and more, Israel’s been a much sought after destination over the past few years and now, there seems to have been a pleasant spike in the sheer number of tourists that the country is receiving from India especially.

In fact, so interesting is the aspect of the Indian tourists’ love for Israel (and exploring the mesmerizing land) that where the current numbers stack up, the Jewish nation is witnessing an almost double-digit growth on the part of the Indian tourists.

In order to understand the perspective of this positive rise in the numbers, let’s deep dive into some number crunching. The following stats are retrieved from The Times of India:

Israel recorded a 21% growth in Indian tourist arrivals with around 70,800 travelers visiting the country from January to December 2018.

It a jump from the 58,700 Indian tourists who visited in 2017 and 44,700 in 2016.

And that is not all. To understand the real situation in terms of India’s thriving love for Israel, it’s important to understand a lot more.

It marks a 58% growth from 2016 to 2018, according to the statistics released by the Israel ministry of tourism (IMOT). Experts from the industry point to what might have caused the positive increase in the numbers.

They are of the view that due to the fact that Air India had introduced direct air operations from the Indian capital into Tel Aviv, which became the fastest non-stop flight between India and Israel, the straight route resulted in upping the ante of tourism’s flow into the Middle Eastern nation.

Well, whatever it might be down to, this steady increase of the Indian tourist visiting Israel is commendable and a story worth covering a greater detail about- isn’t it?

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