/ By Irit Rosenblum/
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The Investment Administration in the Tourism Ministry, received 32 requests for the construction and expansion of hotels throughout Israel – a total of more than 3, 000 rooms and an overall investment of NIS 2.5 billion. These included 2 hotels in Carmiel (172 rooms) – one C grade, 100 room hotel with an investment of about NIS 50 million and another A grade, 72 room hotel with an investment of more than NIS 66 million.
Other requests related to hotels in Eilat, Haifa, Jerusalem, Tiberias, Beer Sheva and Netanya, with the total investment required from the Tourism Ministry of about NIS 550 million. The Investment Administration received four requests for hotel construction and one for hotel expansion in Jerusalem, totaling more than NIS 710 million in grants for an additional 844 rooms. The requests will be discussed and approved with the approval of the new government budget.
Most of the Tourism Ministry’s assistance to entrepreneurs and investors in the hotel industry, is carried out via grants within the framework of the Law to Encourage Capital Investment and in line with the national priority area map for tourism. As a result, the ministry approves grants of up to 20% of the investment, whereas in Jerusalem and Tiberia this grant can be as high as 28%.
Tourism Ministry Director-General, Noaz Bar Nir, said that An increase in the supply of hotel rooms, will directly contribute to reducing the cost of vacationing in Israel, in line with the reforms spearheaded by the Tourism Ministry in order to increase incoming tourism. “The Tourism Ministry is making significant efforts to encourage the construction of new hotels within the framework of the Law to Encourage Capital Investment and investors are expressing their confidence in the expected growth in this industry. Nonetheless, Israel’s unique position, including the geopolitical environs and the low return on hotel investment in Israel, obligates us to offer grants for assistance in hotel construction” said Bar Nir.