New bill allows hotels in Eilat to build faster, with cheaper-priced stays

Due to the amendment to this bill, these hotels with hundreds of rooms are now defined as a part of national infrastructure.

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June 29, 2019 21:43
2 minute read.
AT THE AGAMIM Hotel, there is no escaping the breathtaking view of the desert mountains

AT THE AGAMIM Hotel, there is no escaping the breathtaking view of the desert mountains that surround Eilat. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Due to an amendment in the Planning and Construction Law initiated by the Israel Ministry of Tourism, the Government Housing Cabinet approved the construction of 845 additional rooms to hotels spread across the Eilat area in hopes to expand tourism within the resort-like town, earlier this week.

The plan, passed by the National Infrastructure Committee, allows Astral Hotels to build a new hotel within Eilat containing around 500 guestrooms, as well as giving them the go-ahead to add expansions upon their existing hotels within the chain - including the Astral Palma Hotel, the Astral Village Hotel, the Astral Nirvana Hotel, the Astral Nirvana Suites and the Astral Maris Hotel, totaling the 845 room expansion all around.

“The approval for the addition of 845 rooms to Eilat’s hotel supply is great news for tourism in the resort. We are now picking the first fruits of our initiative to make hotels part of the national infrastructure. At the same time as breaking incoming tourism records, we are experiencing unprecedented momentum in the construction of guest rooms," said Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin.

Due to the amendment to this bill, these hotels with hundreds of rooms are now defined as a part of national infrastructure, and so therefore the government can expedite the process of expanding hotel chains to boost the tourism industry.

"According to Amendment 107 to the Planning and Construction, which was approved in 2016, it was decided that tourism infrastructure will be defined as 'a tourism complex that includes at least 500 tourist rooms and/or four separate tourist hospitality complexes and/or at least two national or regional tourist hospitality complexes  that include at least 300 tourist rooms, that the Tourism Minister has defined as tourism infrastructure,' the Ministry of Tourism wrote in a statement.

Hotel chains as well as "entrepreneurs" will receive grants up to 33% of the total overall investment by the government as well in order to boost the economy, as well as gives the owners of the hotels the ability to charge less money per stay, creating new possibilities for Israeli tourism which is normally on the expensive side. The initiative has also shortened the time it takes to submit requests for changes in urban building planning by almost 5 years, from six to one year and four months.

"The new initiative has shortened the time frame by at least half and has made our low-cost hotel concept relevant. Beyond that, the approval today provides support for low-cost tourism in Eilat. We will be able to sell rooms in the new hotel for NIS 200 per night. The hotel will have advanced technology and the only option to sell rooms at attractive and cheap prices is to build a hotel from the start that will meet high standards, both innovative and international.” Co-owner of Astral Hotels Asher Gabay added that the building permit is expected in January 2020 and the beginning of construction in February 2020.


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