Christian tourism to Israel booming

Christian tourism to Israel is booming, according to new figures released by the country's tourism ministry.

In a poll conducted earlier this month, it emerged that 58 per cent of all visitors to the Jewish state were Christians travelling to see sites including the sea of Galilee and Bethlehem.

The proportion of Jewish tourists in 2011 was much larger when returning visitors were factored in, with more than four fifths of these being Jewish and there to see family or friends.

The survey also revealed that visitors spent an average of £927 during their stay.

Overall tourism rose by 10 per cent last year compared to the previous year, with visitors spending longer on average in the country in 2011 than in 2010.

Among the Christian visitors to Israel in 2011 were the 33 Chilean miners, who enjoyed an all-expenses paid visit to the country, and Canadian teen singer Justin Bieber.

Last updated: 10:58am, October 18 2012