In search of affordable lodgings

Government finally recognizes Israel is too expensive for many tourists.

By GIL STERN STERN ZOHAR
December 17, 2015 15:25
4 minute read.
 King David Hotel

The King David Hotel. (photo credit: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/DANNY LYULEV)

 
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The Tourism Ministry and the Israel Lands Authority have belatedly recognized an open secret that every licensed tour guide knows – the country is too expensive for many tourists, and offers poor value compared to other eastern Mediterranean destinations such as Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, which similarly beckon with sun and sea, as well as religious and historic sites.

In an attempt to lower the cost of hotel rooms, the two government agencies last week announced a joint plan to tender state land to build a chain of five budget hotels with 850 rooms. The low-cost two- and three-star inns will be built in the following areas: Eilat: 150 rooms in the Mafiya district in the city center; Mitzpe Ramon: 100 rooms in the Spice Quarter; the Dead Sea: 300 rooms at Ein Bokek; Kiryat Gat: 100 rooms near the northern entrance to the city; and Nazareth: 200 rooms near the northern entrance to the city. The plan does not call for budget hotels in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv or Haifa.

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