Within the framework to assist and promote the refurbishment or conversion of buildings into hotels, the Ministry of Tourism received last week 28 requests to build over 1,000 new hotel rooms at a total investment of 272 million NIS. Following a review of the requests, entrepreneurs will be entitled to grants amounting to up to 20% of the investment cost and up to 28% in initiatives intended for Jerusalem and Tiveria.
Requests submitted for Jerusalem are for the construction of 323 hotels at an investment of 83 million NIS. In Tiveria, requests were made for 100 hotel rooms at an investment of 26.5 million NIS. In Haifa, requests were made for 54 hotel rooms at a total investment of 2O million NIS, and in Choresh, requests were made for 64 new rooms at an investment close to 32 million NIS.
The large amount of requests fits well within the general trend felt in hotels throughout the country which are experiencing a generally high occupancy rate. The ongoing increase in incoming tourism numbers over the last few years has created a sense of optimism among hoteliers and entrepreneurs, leading to new projects. The Ministry of Tourism is encouraging the construction of new hotel rooms as part of its policy to increase and encourage competition which will lead to the reduction of costs for both incoming and domestic tourists.
In addition, for the first time in years, as a result of adding the Dead Sea region to the Regional Tourism Preference Map, the Director General’s Office has issued a statement asking to expand the hotels in the area. As a result, the Ministry of Tourism has received a request from Lot Dead Sea Hotel for the construction of 30 additional rooms. The request will be examined over the next few days.
In addition to these requests that are currently being reviewed and approved by the Ministry of Tourism, there are currently 6,000 additional hotel rooms being constructed or in advanced planning stages. However, in order to meet the Ministry of Tourism’s Targets for 5 million tourists in 2015, there is a need for an additional 13,000 hotel rooms.
Minister of Tourism, Stas Misezhnikov: “The grants given by the Ministry of Tourism to hotel entrepreneurs bring about an increase in supply, especially in areas in which there is a serious shortfall, such as in Jerusalem and Tiveria. The additional hotel rooms will increase competition and will reduce accommodation costs. In the Dead Sea, we are already working on plans to build 12-16 additional hotels, as part of the tourism development and environmental rehabilitation plan in this area.”
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)