Gov’t to invest NIS 12m. in Nazareth

By
May 5, 2011 05:25

Goal is to draw Christian pilgrims and provide boost to Arab sector.




NAZARETH’S CHURCH of the Annunciation

Nazareth 311. (photo credit:Courtesy)

The Tourism Ministry will invest NIS 12 million over the next four years in improving the tourist infrastructure in Nazareth, as part of efforts to boost the cultural and leisure offerings in the Galilee city.

Nazareth, a magnet for Christian tourists and the largest Arab city in the country, is visited by more than 40 percent of foreign tourists.

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The program to boost development of the tourism industry in Nazareth is part of a 2010 government initiative to encourage development in the Arab sector, the Tourism Ministry said on Wednesday.

The plan allocates NIS 25m. over four years for improvements in tourism infrastructure and the economy in the Arab sector, including NIS 6.5m. each for the Druse villages of Usfiya and Daliat al-Carmel, and the rest for Nazareth. Shfaram was also given a grant of NIS 8m. by the ministry in collaboration with the Authority for the Economic Development of the Arab, Druse and Circassian sector.

The ministry is also offering grants to residents looking to open small tourism-based businesses in Nazareth. Such business could be eligible for grants totaling up to 30% of their initial investment, according to the ministry. The ministry has also offered grants for business owners who build at least two guest house units, potentially reaching up to 24% of the initial investment.

Tourism in Nazareth “fits into the global trend of historical and cultural tourism,” Tourism Minister Stas Meseznikov (Israel Beiteinu) said on Wednesday. “The city has the potential to develop a broad range of Israeli tourist offerings, and therefore we will work to develop Nazareth while also investing in the expansion of tourism sites and tour and accommodation options.”

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