The Tourism Ministry’s National Center for the Development of Holy Sites announced Wednesday that it invested more than NIS 18 million in the conservation and maintenance of Jewish heritage sites in 2010. The investment aims to preserve Israel’s tradition and heritage and improve the tourism product for both domestic and incoming tourists.
According to the ministry spokeswoman, during 2010, maintenance and conservation work in the Jerusalem area included the tombs of Rachel and King David; in the North – Rabbi Shimon Ben Yochai’s tomb on Mount Meron and other holy sites and graves in Biriya, Haifa and Tiberius.In 2011, the ministry plans to begin new projects at holy sites and graves including in Jerusalem and Hazor , in accordance with the renovations and restoration program of the National Center for the Development of Holy Sites.
According to ministry figures 335,000 visitors to Israel in 2010 were Jewish (23% of all incoming tourists), of whom 10% came to Israel to visit the sites holy to Judaism.
“Jewish tourists from Israel and overseas visiting the holy sites in Israel represent one of the important anchors in the Tourism Ministry’s marketing activities. These activities will continue in the coming years, both in developing infrastructure and renovating holy sites as well as increasing marketing activities in Israel and overseas to promote this tourism,” said Tourism Minister Stas Miseznikov.