PM announces support for more investment in J'lem, North, Negev tourism

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced support Saturday for more investment in tourism, emphasizing needs in Jerusalem, the North and the Negev. The announcement follows statistics suggesting that tourism in Israel will expand to 5 million visitors per year by 2012, from about 2.3 million in 2006. "We need to note the impressive tourism inside the country, especially in The Galilee," said Olmert in a press release, adding that there is a lot to learn in these areas. Even with Olmert's support, the Tourism Ministry does not know how much money it will receive for the coming year, said spokesperson Shira Kaveh. Last year, the Tourism Ministry received NIS 150 million, said Kaveh. "If we expect a lot more tourists we need to make investments not only in the Negev and Galilee," she said.