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Ministry of Tourism to Invest in Dead Sea Conservation and Development

Published on: July 15, 2012
Minister of Tourism, Stas Misezhnikov with Ministers Liberman and Landver

Minister of Tourism, Stas Misezhnikov with Ministers Liberman and Landver

Exciting plans emerged from the Ministry of Tourism’s one-day conference on the development of the area between the Ein Bokek  and Zohar Hot Springs, including: the building of hotels , architecture that  blends into the desert landscape and  the building of a promenade along the Dead Sea coast.

Stas Misezhnikov, Minister of Tourism said, “This is an opportunity to shape the region for generations. We’re taking significant steps in conserving the Dead Sea site and developing a new tourist area. Within nine months, building plans should be ready!”

Working together with the Evironment Ministry, the Ministry of Tourism will invest $850 million over the next five years in the rehabilitation of the Dead Sea.  Last week, senior representatives of the tourism and hotel industry  met with architects and engineers to discuss proposals to design and develop the area between Zohar Hot Springs Ein Bokek at the Dead Sea.

 In 2011 the Dead Sea was the busiest resort destination in the country, with 857,000 vacationers visitng the in the area. In 2011 the percentage of hotel occupancy in the hotels at the Dead Sea was about 77% compared to 75.3%  in Tel Aviv and 67% in Eilat.  Hotel occupancy at the Dead Sea has risen steady by 45% over the past five years. In 2011,  hotel revenues amounted to 1.096 billion NIS.

 According to the interim zone development program, 12 -16 new hotels will be built as in the next 10 years. Some existing hotels will be expanded for a total of 4,000 additional hotel rooms in the area. In addition, as part of the Capital Investment Encouragement Law, the Ministry of Tourism recently allocated 9 million NIS for grants to entrepreneurs interested in establishing or expanding hotels at the Dead Sea.  Grant requests can be submitted until August 15, 2012.

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