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