Tourism Ministry to use NIS 300m. on upgrading Israel's tourist infrastructure

The ministry aims to increase incoming tourism to reach its goal of 10 million incoming tourists a year.

 Travellers stand in line to check-in at Ben Gurion International Airport, on June 13, 2022. (photo credit: YOSSI ALONI/FLASH90)
Travellers stand in line to check-in at Ben Gurion International Airport, on June 13, 2022.
(photo credit: YOSSI ALONI/FLASH90)

The Israel Tourism Ministry is launching an initiative to develop the country’s tourism infrastructure with an expected budget of NIS 300 million, according to a press release published on Tuesday. The ministry is inviting local authorities and public bodies to submit requests for assistance with projects that will significantly contribute to tourism, both incoming and domestic.

“I invite local authorities and public bodies to submit requests for assistance with projects that will make a real difference, projects that will make a significant contribution to incoming tourism and domestic tourism,” said the initiative’s manager, Tourism Ministry Director-General Dani Shahar.

How is the ministry funding tourism?

The ministry released a list of policies for funding assistance, which includes emphasis on overnight accommodation expansion, bike path construction and the development of Ultra-Orthodox tourism and wine tourism, besides general infrastructure improvement in order to accommodate more tourists.

The ministry will determine its contribution to projects based on a number of criteria including their contribution to incoming tourism as well as the region's economic development, their maintainability, the presence of a tourist site or hotel accommodation near the project and contribution to domestic tourism.

According to the release, authorities receiving aid to upgrade their locales for tourists to enjoy will have exclusive responsibility for maintenance, and will be asked to carry out all ongoing maintenance works at their expense after the project has been completed.

Israeli Minister of Tourism Yoel Razvozov visits at Ben Gurion International Airport, on June 14, 2022. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)Israeli Minister of Tourism Yoel Razvozov visits at Ben Gurion International Airport, on June 14, 2022. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)

Breaking the budget records

This scale of project hasn’t been seen in Israel’s tourism industry for years. Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov noted that it is possible now thanks to the current government’s ability to lock down a budget (a feat that the Knesset struggled with for several years prior to Bennett’s government).

“This budget will help us meet the goal we have set ourselves: 10 million tourists a year by 2030”

MK Yoel Razvozov

“After years without a state budget, the Israel Tourism Ministry is allocating significant amounts of money to establish and upgrade tourism infrastructure throughout Israel,” said Razvozov. He explained that the primary goal of the initiative is to bolster Israel’s tourism numbers. “This budget will help us meet the goal we have set ourselves: 10 million tourists a year by 2030.”

That massive influx of tourists will greatly benefit Israel in a multitude of ways, explained the minister. “Tourists, who inject tens of billions of shekels into the Israeli economy, will provide livelihoods for many Israelis and create hundreds of new jobs, especially in the periphery. More tourists - less taxes.”

The ministry intends to continue investing in long-term plans that will improve the tourism sector in Israel, such as the expansion of the country’s hotel supply, the improvement in service given to tourists and the reduction of vacation costs in Israel, because, as Razvozov put it, “taking a vacation is not only for the rich.”