The Ministry of Tourism continues to encourage the increase in the supply of hotel rooms in Israel. The Ministry of Tourism Investment Administration approved grants for the renovation, construction and expansion of six hotels throughout the country that will add 146 rooms to the existing supply. The total investment will be over 80 million NIS. The hotels that will be constructed and expanded in Jerusalem, Eilat, Haifa, the Golan Heights and Ginosar will receive grants from the Ministry of Tourism amounting to.5 million NIS.
In Eilat, due to its recent addition to the Regional Tourism Preference Map, is now receiving grants from the Ministry of Tourism and thus the Orchid Reef Hotel will receive 8.5 million NIS to add 12 new rooms. In Jerusalem, the city frequented by more tourists than any other city in the country and which suffers from serious accommodation options, the Montefiore Hotel, which currently has 57 rooms, will be expanded. In addition, a new hotel will be constructed on HaNevi’im St and will include 50 rooms at a total investment of 30.5 million NIS. In addition to these hotels, a unique Templar structure in the German Colony will be converted into a 45 room hotel. Ginosar Hotel will be expanded with an additional 20 rooms and a new motel will be built near the Beit Hameches Junction in the Golan Heights which will include 19 suites.
Since the beginning of the year, the Ministry of Tourism has approved 23 requests for grants totaling 203 million NIS for the renovation, expansion or construction of new hotels in Israel. 40 million NIS of this amount is allocated as an additional managerial grant at a rate of 8% of the investment for projects in Jerusalem. This is intended to encourage the construction of hotels in the Holy City as specified in the relevant government decision. Thirteen new hotels received grants in cities including: Eilat, Jerusalem, Haifa, Nazareth, Tiveria, Beit Shean, Netanya and other cities across the country. The projects approved since the beginning of 2012 are expected to add 1,123 hotel rooms. 424 additional rooms are currently in the renovation stages. The total investment of investors thus far is approximately 770 million NIS.
The Ministry of Tourism is expecting additional grant requests which will be submitted within two recently publicized frameworks: the construction and expansion of hotel rooms in the Dead Sea region, and the refurbishment of existing buildings into hotels. The final deadline for submitting grant requests for which the Ministry of Tourism has allocated NIS 30 million is the 15th and 27th of August, respectively.
Minister of Tourism, Stas Misezhnikov: “Increasing the number of hotels promotes competition and reduces the cost of vacation packages for many Israelis and foreign tourists whose numbers are increasing and therefore we need to make the necessary preparations in order to accommodate them.”
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)