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Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Tourism Ministry 2012 Summary of Investments in Tourism

Jerusalem, 2 January 2013
SUMMARY OF INVESTMENTS IN TOURISM FOR 2012
IN 2012, THE TOURISM MINISTRY APPROVED GRANTS TOTALING NIS 260 MILLION IN
OVERALL INVESTMENTS TOTALING ABOUT NIS 1.1 BILLION
25% INCREASE IN GRANTS TO HOTELS
56% INCREASE IN GRANTS TO TOURIST ATTRACTIONS
DURING 2012, 1750 GUESTROOMS APPROVED FOR CONSTRUCTION

TOURISM MINISTER STAS MISZHNIKOV: “THIS HAS BEEN A YEAR OF RECORDS IN
TOURISM TO ISRAEL. THE TOURISM RECORDS INCLUDE THE NUMBER OF INCOMING
TOURISTS AND THE INCOME FROM TOURISM, AND 2012 IS THE YEAR IN WHICH THE
TOURISM MINISTRY APPROVED THE LARGEST AMOUNT OF GRANTS FOR HOTELS AND
TOURIST ATTRACTIONS OVER THE LAST DECADE. THE MINISTRY INVESTED IN BUILDING
HOTEL ROOMS IN ORDER TO INCREASE SUPPLY AND LOWER PRICES AS PART OF THE
PREPARATIONS TO WELCOME 5 MILLION TOURISTS IN 2013.”

During 2012, 1750 new hotel rooms were approved for construction. 2012
statistics related to capital investment in the tourism industry show that
the Tourism Ministry invested about NIS 260 million in projects and helping
entrepreneurs, 25% more than in 2011. The overall investment (grants and the
investment of entrepreneurs) amounted to about NIS 1.1 billion.

Most of the grants in 2012 were allocated to the construction, expansion or
conversion of 37 hotels throughout Israel. 25 of these hotels were new
hotels or have been converted or expanded after they had been used for a
different purpose and the others were buildings that had been originally
designed as hotels. The hotels are in Jerusalem, Haifa, Acco, Nazareth,
Askelon, Mitzpe Ramon, Eilat, Beit Shean and Kiryat Shmona, among others.
Israel currently has 47,900 rooms in 340 hotels throughout the country.

Entrepreneurs building in Jerusalem – Israel’s most-visited city – are
eligible for a unique grant of up to 28% of the investment. In 2012, grants
were allocated to six new hotels in the city and to 3 hotels for conversion
with an overall investment of about NIS 450 million. Among the hotels
receiving grants is the Colony Hotel planned for the city’s German Colony at
an investment of about NIS 257 million. The total amount of grants approved
for Jerusalem, in the various tracks publicized by the Tourism Ministry
including grants for renovations, stands at about NIS 168 million out of the
overall investment allocation for Jerusalem which stands at NIS 650 million
for 2012.

The Tourism Ministry approved grants of NIS 10 million for tourist
attractions, 56% more than in 2011. The overall investment in tourist
attractions, most of them in Eilat, stands at NIS 97 million. These include
the Ice Park Mall in Eilat at an investment of NIS 31 million and the
construction of the shark pool at the Astral Water Park at a cost of NIS 20
million. Within the framework of developing infrastructure in Eilat, the
ministry also assisted with the construction of the promenade at the Ice
Park Mall and another promenade at the Mul Yam Shopping Center, thereby
completing the boardwalks in the resort.

The assistance offered by the Tourism Ministry to hotel entrepreneurs was
implemented within the framework of the Law for Encouraging Capital
Investment. The grant allocations are up to 20% in accordance with the
criteria and the national priority map for tourism. Assistance given to
entrepreneurs for tourist attractions is up to 10% of the total investment
costs. Due to the high demand for accommodation in Jerusalem and Tiberias
and given the short supply of rooms in those cities, grants for building
hotel rooms reaches 28% of the total investment.

Given the steady increase in incoming tourism in recent years, the Tourism
Ministry expects to continue assisting in the construction and expansion of
hotels. This, in order to expand the existing supply of hotel rooms in order
to reduce prices and be prepared for the anticipated arrival of 5 million
tourists by 2013.
_________
Lydia Weitzman
Foreign Press Adviser to the Ministry of Tourism
052-3584395
israeltourismministry@gmail.com

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