Israel's Tourism Ministry to Help Finance Construction of Five New Hotels

Ministry allocates NIS 112 million for hotels in Jerusalem, Beit She'an, Eilat, Netanya and Golan Heights.

The Tourism Ministry has allocated NIS 112 million to establish five new hotels in Israel, plus the expansion of a sixth and the renovation of two others.

The government assistance is 20% to 28% of the total investment in the projects, and is being provided pursuant to the law designed to encourage investment in priority tourism regions. The eight projects involve a total investment - both private and governmental - of nearly half a billion shekels.

Among the hotels is a new Isrotel site in Jerusalem's German Colony neighborhood. The facility will be built at an estimated cost of NIS 256 million, including about NIS 31 million from the ministry. The hotel, which will have 256 rooms, will be located at the corner of Emek Refaim Street and Bethlehem Road. Construction is slated to begin near the end of this year and is expected to take three years.

Another of the new hotels will be built in Beit She'an. The Jordan Valley city currently only has a large hostel facility for overnight stays, despite its proximity to a number of popular tourist sites - including the ruins of the major Roman town that are located in the city itself. The new hotel there will be built at a cost of NIS 23 million, including a grant of about NIS 4.5 million from the Tourism Ministry.

"Many tourists come to Beit She'an, but currently the city is just a stop on the way to other destinations, so the hotel can help the city," said the ministry's director general, Boaz Bar-Nir.

Another new hotel will be built with the ministry's assistance in Eilat, a city that has not seen a new hotel built in a decade. The new NIS 31 million facility is expected to open in about five years and will feature 62 suites aimed at middle-range accommodations. It will be getting a NIS 6 million grant from the ministry.

The two other new hotels receiving ministry funding are in Netanya and at Kibbutz Afik, in the Golan Heights.