(photo credit: Wikicommons)
The Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry, alongside the Tourism Ministry,
are investing NIS 60 million in a campaign to strengthen eco-tourism in the
country’s rural areas.
Launching the plans this year, the two ministries
will jointly operate the program for five years, the Agriculture Ministry
Out of the NIS 60m. budget, the ministries will be designating NIS
25m. worth of grants to strengthen tourism infrastructure in the rural
communities – with the goal of improving appearance, signage, tourism businesses
and public seating areas.
“Increasing cooperation with the Tourism
Ministry to strengthen tourism in rural areas will enrich vacation experiences
and will ensure better levels of service to vacationers,” said Agriculture
Minister Yair Shamir.
“Communities of the periphery will bolster their
economies thanks to increased tourist traffic and a diversification of resident
An additional NIS 25m. will be allocated toward establishing
campgrounds and developing sites fit to house RVs and trailers that tourists may
bring with them, the Agriculture Ministry said.
Also critical to the
program will be the promotion of regional projects such as an increased presence
of bike trails and panoramic lookouts, the ministry said.
goal of the program is to “transform rural villages into an attractive center
for visitors and tourists,” while enabling the residents to increase their
livelihoods, according to the ministries.
The decision as to which
communities, specifically, will receive the financial support from the two
ministries will be determined by a support committee dedicated to the subject,
said Ruti Frum Aricha, director of the Agriculture Ministry’s planning
“This agreement stems from a desire to diversify and increase
sources of income for residents of communities in the periphery, and in order to
highlight the agricultural and environmental resources in these communities,”