Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised on Sunday the country’s tourism industry and said that it is an important part of Israel’s public diplomacy abroad.

Tourists in Jerusalem

Tourists in Jerusalem Photo Credit: Nati Shohat/Flash 90

At the beginning of Sunday’s cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Israel’s tourism industry.

Netanyahu mentioned that Israel welcomed its 3-millionth tourist, a woman from Romania, in November. “I hope that in the coming year we will pass the 4 million mark and this will be, of course, an important improvement,” he said, according to a press release from his office.  

“The tourism market brings money into the State of Israel. It is like exports. It is an important part of our economy,” Netanyahu continued. “It provides employment to various sectors of the population, which exports do not always do. Therefore, I also see this as important from a social perspective, as well as from an economic perspective. It is also important vis-à-vis our public diplomacy abroad. Tourists who come here leave with a much more positive attitude to the State of Israel and spread this around the world.”

As reported earlier by JOL, Netanyahu also backed the American administration’s criticism of UNRWA, the UN’s aid agency for Palestinian refugees, during the meeting. Netanyahu said that Washington’s resources should instead go to the UN agency that helps refugees from all over the world.