By Hana Levi Julian,

Close to 300,000 tourists streamed into Israel this past May, breaking all records, according to the Tourism Ministry. The number of visitors was 5 percen higher than the previous record, set in the year 2000.

The projected total tourism for 2008 will be almost 3,000,000 visitors to the Jewish State.

Tourism Ministry Director-General Sha’ul Tzemach commented that the rise could have far-reaching positive effects, noting that “with the continuing growth pattern, this contribution will be felt in all aspects of the tourism industry.”

Israeli Tourist Sites Uploaded to Tourism Ministry Website
New maps of Israel and major tourism sites and cities were uploaded to the Ministry of Tourism website, The new service allows for navigation and printing of the maps, which display major tourist sites marked in English.

Included are beautiful new maps of Israel, Christian sites, and the cities of Jerusalem, Tiberias, Eilat, Haifa, Tel Aviv, and Netanya. In addition, the ministry has uploaded another 200 photographs, adding them to the existing 1800 photos available for downloading from the site, which can be searched by name or keyword. More photos will be added in the coming months, said the ministry.

The Tourism Ministry’s website attracts more than a quarter of a million hits a month and is translated into 11 different languages, including English, Russian, French, German, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Italian, German and Hebrew. It is also in the process of being translated into other languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, Korean and Portuguese.

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