Israel's Tourism Ministry to invest NIS 340m in tourism infrastructure

The Tourism Ministry's Development Budget Committee approved a budget that includes the establishment of dozens of public tourism infrastructure projects.

Tourism Minister Haim Katz arrives for a group picture of the new government at the president's residence in Jerusalem on December 29, 2022. (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
Tourism Minister Haim Katz arrives for a group picture of the new government at the president's residence in Jerusalem on December 29, 2022.
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

The Tourism Ministry has allocated NIS 340 million for public tourism infrastructure projects, the ministry announced on Wednesday.

The Development Budget Committee at the Tourism Ministry approved a budget that accounts for the establishment of dozens of projects such as promenades, parking lots, bridges, markets, sound and light shows, trails, parks and observation points.

The Tourism Ministry said it had received about 210 applications last year from local authorities for help establishing new projects. Of these applications, 160 met the basic requirements.

The ministry's 2022 infrastructure budget totaled NIS 340 million, while the cost of completing all of the projects would be about NIS 700 million. The ministry said it had contributed some NIS 410 million overall toward the projects, including NIS 340 million from last year's budget and the remainder of previous years' budgets.

“Improvement of infrastructure and beautification upgrades the tourist experience and encourages returning tourism.”

Tourism Minister Haim Katz

“Improvement of infrastructure and beautification upgrades the tourist experience and encourages returning tourism,” said Tourism Minister Haim Katz. “I have asked the ministry to prepare a directive for the support budget for 2023, that will place an emphasis on budgetary efficiency alongside maximizing the tourism potential.”

Tourism Minister Haim Katz attends a government conference at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem on January 8, 2023. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)Tourism Minister Haim Katz attends a government conference at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem on January 8, 2023. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

“We are in the midst of preparing the tourism infrastructure in Israel to welcome tourists, following the recovery from the pandemic,” said Dani Shahar, Director-General of the Tourism Ministry. “We carefully considered the many applications received, and we chose those which would bring the greatest value to tourism.”

What is the state of tourism in Israel right now?

A staggering more than 2.67 million tourists visited Israel in 2022, making the country NIS 13.5 billion. While this is not yet pre-COVID numbers which were closer to four million, it's a major jump from 2020 and 2021.

Israel has been trying to draw more tourists to Israel over the last couple of weeks and is opening new direct flights between Israel and destinations worldwide including multiple locations in the US and a direct route to Seoul.