Israel’s Ministry of Tourism has announced a conference on converting offices in Tel Aviv and Jaffa into hotel spaces, with grants of close to $6.8 million. The ministry has already taken 17 applications that are expected to create 1,384 rooms.
The conference, to be held at the Eretz Israel Museum on Wednesday, will connect property owners with hotel entrepreneurs, investors and sources of finance. It will be conducted under the guidance of Tourism Ministry Director-General Amir Halevi.
Hotel entrepreneurs will receive from the Tourism Ministry grants of 10% of their total investment, as well as assistance through the process from the Ministry and the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality.
The potential properties are office buildings or parts of them, in deals where the following required conditions prevail: a valid hotel plan or a permit for exceptional use; the entrepreneur owns the building or has a long-term sale or lease agreement; the entrepreneur has the financial capability to execute the project and to provide equity; and a letter of recommendation from a bank.
The conversion must conform to the standards of the Tourism Ministry, in order to ensure that the facility would be used only by tourists and at an appropriate standard.
2018 was a record year for incoming tourism, with more than 4.1 million tourists, 14% more than in 2017. According to all the forecasts, 2019 is expected to continue this trend.