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IMMEDIATELY AFTER OPERATION PILLAR OF DEFENSE, THE TOURISM MINISTRY APPROVES GRANT ALLOCATION FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW HOTEL ON THE SITE OF AN ABANDONED BUILDING ON THE SEASHORE.

 THE APPROVAL WAS GIVEN WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE GRANT REQUESTS SUBMITED TO THE INVESTMENTS ADMINISTRATION IN THE TOURISM MINISTRY FOR THE CONVERSION OF 13 HOTELS THAT WILL ADD ANOTHER 470 NEW HOTEL ROOMS AT AN OVERALL INVESTMENT OF ABOUT NIS 153 MILLION. ANOTHER PROJECT: CONVERSION OF THE CASINO BUILDING IN HAIFA TO A HOTEL
 
TOURISM MINISTER STAS MISEZHNIKOV: “THE TOURISM MINISTRY ATTACHES GREAT IMPORTANCE TO THE DEVELOPMENT AND REHABILITATION OF TOURISM IN THE AREAS IN THE SOUTH AFFECTED BY THE RECENT HOSTILITIES. CONVERTING BUILDINGS INTO HOTELS IS THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE MINISTRY’S POLICY OF EXPANDING THE HOTEL SUPPLY IN ORDER TO CREATE COMPETITION THAT WILL LEAD TO LOWER VACATION COSTS IN ISRAEL. THIS IS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE COMMITTEE RECENTLY APPROVED BY THE GOVERNMENT.’

HAIFA-ACCO CRUISE LINE TO OPERATE FROM 15.3.2013. TOURISM MINISTRY WILL INVEST ABOUT
NIS 1 MILLION IN DEVELOPING THE INFRASTRUCTURE AT THE CITIES’ PORTS.
THE EXPECTED OUTCOME TENS OF THOUSANDS OF TOURISTS AND AN ANNUAL INJECTION OF ABOUT
NIS 10 MILLION IN THE ECONOMY

The Haifa-Acco cruise line will begin operations on 15 March 2013. This was agreed a few days ago by representatives of the Ministries of Tourism and Transport and the mayors of Haifa and Acco. The Tourism Ministry will invest about NIS 1 million in upgrading the infrastructure in the Haifa and Acco ports. The municipalities will help in marketing the cruise lines and including them in a combined ticket that offers tours to the tourist sites in Acco and Haifa. According to Tourism Ministry estimates, the line will attract tens of thousands of passengers and will inject about NIS 10 million into the economy. 

Prime Minister Netanyahu, this morning (Monday, 5 November 2012), met with Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer<http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/exec/steve/default.aspx>. They discussed Microsoft's commitment to Israel, its vast investments in the local market and the impact it is having, driving economic growth through national level activity and programs focused on innovation economy, employability, education and more.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said, "The combination of the State of Israel and Microsoft is natural since the Israeli high-tech industry is among the world's leaders. Microsoft was wise enough to see its potential many years ago and to benefit from the quality personnel in Israel. Our investment in high-tech industries and in training people for high-tech will continue to succeed and bear fruit. I believe that cooperation between the State of Israel and Microsoft will continue for many years."

TOURISM MINISTER STAS MISEZHNIKOV: “OPERATIONAL STEPS WILL BE TAKEN WITHIN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS TO RETURN INCOMING TOURISM TO ITS PATH OF STEADY GROWTH OF THE LAST 3 YEARS. THE SCOPE OF THE DAMAGE TO THE TOURISM INDUSTRY IS NOT INSIGNIFICANT BUT REHABILITATING TOURISM AND ENSURING THAT RESIDENTS IN THE SOUTH ONCE AGAIN HAVE INCOME IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE VICTORY AND IS A NATIONAL MISSION”
Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov, Tourism Minister Director-General Noaz Bar Nir and senior representatives from the ministry met Thursday (22 November 2012) with tourism industry leaders in an initiative of the Federation of Israeli Tourist Organizations chaired by Michael Federmann to formulate a plan to rehabilitate tourism and to ensure a return to normal in the industry.
 
Damage Assessment and the Potential for Rehabilitation:
Tourism industry representatives at the meeting reported cancellation rates of between 10-20% on average and a slow-down on future reservations. The damage has also been felt in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and even in other regions across the country. Tourism industry representatives said that the damage could be minimized and it was estimated that the potential for rehabilitation is large in relation to other crises the industry has dealt with.The representatives stressed the urgency in implementing rehabilitative actions because, with the tourism industry unlike others, it is impossible to get back a large part of that which was lost. They also said that showing life returning to normal is most important in returning the flow of incoming tourism to Israel. The Federation of Israeli Tourist Organizations has taken upon itself the work of contacting those organizations which have made cancelations in order to persuade them to reverse their decisions.

THE KNESSET ECONOMIC COMMITTEE TODAY APPROVES THE NEW CRITERIA FOR HOTEL RATINGS IN ISRAEL, AS SUBMITTED BY THE MINISTER OF TOURISM.

THE CRITERIA WILL BECOME EFFECTIVE WITHIN 8 MONTHS