3 Millionth Tourist Arrives in Israel

Tourism Minister Misenzhnikov welcomes leader of Brazilian pilgrim group in a ceremony at Ben-Gurion Airport.

Irit Rosenblum
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Irit Rosenblum

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 landing at Ben Gurion Airport Nov. 22, 2010Credit: Ofer Vaknin

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