British tourism to Israel is on the increase, according to figures released this week by the Israel Ministry of Tourism.

In total, a record 3.54 million visitors entered Israel in 2013.

Globally there was a 1% increase in visitor numbers between 2013 and 2012, however visitors from the UK bucked this trend, increasing by 5% to 217,137 visitors over the same period.

In total, a record 3.54 million visitors entered Israel in 2013.

In total, a record 3.54 million visitors entered Israel in 2013.

Naama Oryan-Kaplan, director of IGTO UK and Ireland, said: “Israel is a unique country with a history that spans back thousands of years.

“The rise in visitors to Israel has been mirrored by the support of airline partners, with El Al increasing their flight frequency between Tel Aviv and London, and easyJet announcing the launch of a new flight route from Gatwick to Tel Aviv starting in April 2014.”

In 2013, the Israel Ministry of Tourism signed an open skies agreement with the European Union which would allow more flights to the country.

Other developments within the country include the opening of a new terminal at Ben Gurion International Airport for low cost airlines in 2013 and the building of Israel’s second international airport in Timna, near Eilat due to be completed in 2016.