Photo Credit: Dead Sea Israel on Facebook
Crowne Plaza Dead Sea hotel

In 2017, the Ministry of Tourism approved more than NIS 180 million in grants to entrepreneurs for the construction of 2,570 rooms in 35 projects around the country.

The hotel industry in Israel is booming — and investors are seeking ways to expand it even further.

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“We are working to expand hotel room supply by offering financial assistance to entrepreneurs and approving grants for hotel construction,” said Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin. “This is a response to the growth in incoming tourism and, at the same time, will ultimately lead to lower prices.

“I congratulate everyone who takes a part in the construction of more hotel rooms. I am convinced that, with the momentum in hotel construction and the increase in incoming tourism, we will continue to see prosperity in the tourism industry.”

Against the backdrop of record numbers of tourist arrivals to Israel in 2017, investors are looking to build new hotels, expand existing ones and convert existing buildings into hotel use.

In 2017, the Investment Center of the Ministry approved grants to entrepreneurs totaling NIS 180,777,443 in accordance with the Law for the Encouragement of Capital Investment. According to the requests that have been approved, the number of hotel rooms in Israel is expected increase in the coming years by approximately 2,570 rooms.

The grants in 2017 have been allocated for the establishment, expansion and conversion of 35 hotels throughout the country.

The largest grant (NIS 35 million) is expected to be given for the preservation and construction of a budget hotel in Jerusalem, which is to include 248 rooms. In total, grants were approved in Jerusalem for five projects, which will include 482 rooms.

A new luxury hotel is planned for Netanya, which will include 356 rooms. Rishon LeZion is also planning to build a 240-room hotel. The holiday village in Sde Boker will be expanded by a further 42 rooms.

In Be’er Sheva, a luxury boutique hotel with 50 rooms is planned, and two conversion projects are planned for Ein Bokek at the Dead Sea. A luxury 275-room suite hotel is also planned in Bat Yam.

The Ministry of Tourism assists entrepreneurs and investors in the framework of the Law for the Encouragement of Capital Investment.

In 2017, the ministry launched for the first time two grant tracks aimed at increasing the amount of investments and the hotel room supply in Israel.

In the framework of a new track which relates to entrepreneurs investing more than NIS 50 million, the grant is released in stages, in accordance with the progress of the project. The grants are given in accordance with criteria and the map of national priority areas in tourism, which was recently expanded by the ministry and now includes all of the country except for Tel Aviv and Herzliya.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.