Tourist number 3,000,001 since the beginning of 2010 landed in Ben-Gurion International Airport Monday, in one of Israel’s biggest tourism years in recent memory.
Pastor Jomber Araujo Vladislav, leading a group of 120 evangelical pilgrims from Brazil, was welcomed by Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov and other state officials at the airport in a special ceremony.
“The visit to Israel fills our heart and soul, Israel is a blessing upon all the nations,” the pastor said.
Misenzhnikov said that the fact that a tourist from Brazil is the 3 millionth this year seems fitting, as incoming tourism from Brazil has increased 82 percent in 2010.
“Whoever arrives in the Holy Land also arrives in Jerusalem, and leaves a changed person,” Misenzhnikov told the pastor.
Pastor Vladislav won an additional 6 day trip to Israel, including airfare and free admission to sites he might miss in the current trip.
This year has been a record breaker in tourism, with 2.9 million tourists between January and October, according to a report by the Central Bureau