A record number of tourists visited Israel in the first half of 2018, according to statistics published on Monday by the country’s Tourism Ministry.

Some 2.1 million tourist entries were recorded between January and June, the most for any half-year period and the first time the 2 million threshold was passed, the ministry said in a statement.

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin hailed the achievement, saying in a statement that “the marketing efforts and activities that we are spearheading in the ministry are leading us to new records.”

The figure represents an increase of 19 percent over the same period last year, when 1.74 million tourists came to Israel, and a 26% increase over the first half of 2016.

In the month of June alone, 310,200 tourists entered the country, representing a 2% increase over June 2017 and a 31% increase over June 2016. Tourism last month earned Israel NIS 1.66 billion.