Meseznikov: We need more hotel rooms urgently

19,000 new rooms needed to meet gov't tourist goal.

July 29, 2010 05:35
2 minute read.
Meseznikov: We need more hotel rooms urgently

inbal hotel room298 88. (photo credit:


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Israel urgently needs 19,000 new hotel rooms if it wants to meet the government’s goal of bringing in five million tourists to the country by 2015, Tourism Minister Stas Meseznikov said Wednesday at a tourism investors conference in Tel Aviv.

“To avoid the loss of tourists, which means the loss of income and the loss of jobs, the Tourism Ministry’s investment budget for the next two years has to grow to NIS 1.1 billion,” he said.

Some 100 participants heard addresses by Meseznikov and leading hoteliers.

An independent report analyzed the need for new hotels and the ways in which the government could help.

“We are witness to a worrying phenomenon: While the demand for tourism and business visits in Israel is climbing and reaching previously unseen figures, during some seasons of the year we are incapable of meeting the demand and are in effect forced to reject the same tourists we encouraged to visit Israel,” Meseznikov said.

“At the same time, our neighbors, who compete with us for the hearts of tourists visiting the region, are attracting the largest and most lucrative hotel chains and every year are increasing the supply of hotel rooms.”

According to the Tourism Ministry, there are currently 44,000 hotel rooms in the country, which have a 65 percent occupancy rate.

However, they will not be enough to support continued growth in tourism numbers, especially during peak seasons, the ministry said.

According to research conducted by Rotem Strategy, the 19,000 needed rooms would cost NIS 10.2 billion and would have to be financed by private investors, government grants and lenders.

For potential investors, however, that may not be enough. David Fattal, owner and CEO of the Fattal hotel chain, said entrepreneurs faced difficulties when embarking on a hotel venture in Israel.

“The major obstacle entrepreneurs face in Israel is that it is simply unprofitable to build a hotel here,” he said.

“There are a lot of people and companies who would gladly build here if they thought they could profit.

But with high land prices, diminishing government grants, incomparably high expenses on energy water and labor… it’s just not worth it.”

“In the last 20 years, apart from small boutique hotels in Tel Aviv and one or two projects in Jerusalem, there have been zero new developments,” Fatal said. “Israelis prefer to invest in hotels in Europe.”

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Supreme Court President Asher Grunis
August 28, 2014
Grapevine: September significance