Birthright Contributes 2b. NIS to Israel’s Economy

Jerusalem, February 26, 2012: Today, at the height of Taglit-Birthright Israel’s Winter season, the organization announced that the total contribution of Taglit to Israel’s economy through the Israeli tourism industry, since its inception in 2000, is more than NIS 2 billion (over $535 million). This significant contribution comes from providing transportation, lodging, food, training, security, entry to tourist sites and air travel.

Since the beginning of the project, over 7,100 groups arrived in Israel, filling more than 2,224,700 hotel beds and traveling around the country for over 71,000 days in buses.

In 2011 alone, the arrival of 34,000 Taglit participants meant over 86,000 work days in the tourism sector, and contributed more than 228 million shekels to the economy.

Even during Israel’s most difficult times, such as the second Intifada, Operation Cast Lead and the Second Lebanon War, Taglit-Birthright Israel participants traveled to and toured the country, providing a major boost to the Israeli tourism sector.

“Not only is the project contributing to the economy and thus providing employment for thousands of Israelis, but it is also an investment in the future. Many of our participants are not satisfied with visiting Israel only once; they fall in love with the country and return for many more visits, and their enthusiasm affects their families and friends who, in turn, decide to visit. In this way, we also create an infrastructure for Jewish tourism in the years ahead,” said Gidi Mark, Taglit’s CEO.

During the Winter season of 2011/2012, which ends next month, more than 17,000 young Jews from 32 different countries will have visited – a record number of participants and countries for Taglit’s Winter season.