Tourism Ministry giving boost to Jewish heritage sites

Ministry invested over NIS 18 million in 2010 to preserve Israel's tradition and heritage and improve domestic and international tourism.

Tourists at Kotel 311 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Tourists at Kotel 311
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
The Tourism Ministry’s National Center for the Development of Holy Sites announced Wednesday that it had 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, it included Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yohai’s tomb on Mount Meron and other holy sites and graves in Biriya, Haifa and Tiberias.
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 percent 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,” Tourism Minister Stas Meseznikov said.
“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.”