Israel approves to construct trans-Israel trail to boost tourism


JERUSALEM,  (Xinhua) — The Israeli government approved Sunday a decision to build a tourist trail along the length and breadth of Israel that exposes the landscapes and cultural diversity of the country.

A budget of NIS 10 million (about 2.8 million U.S. dollars) will be allocated according to the decision, and the Israeli Tourism Ministry will head a development team for it.

It is the first time that the Israeli government has taken part in such a project, which has tourist and historical implications.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the project is needed for the country’s tourism potential. “This is an outstanding enterprise.”

The proposed route will leverage tourism throughout the country — the north, which is characterized by verdant landscapes and water sources, and the south, with its desert landscapes, as well as offering tourists the possibility to hike between the holy sites.

The Ministry of Tourism will submit to the Israeli government within 120 days its recommendations for a strategic plan to develop the trail.

The decision states that the economic potential of such tourism to the periphery is significant with the ability to generate increases in hospitality options, eating places, tourist attractions and more.

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said the decision to construct a tourist trail throughout Israel is an important decision against the background of the all-time record breaking figures in incoming tourism and the efforts to add tourist attractions that will benefit visitors and tourists in Israel.

According to the ministry, the path will expose tourists to Israel’s landscapes and sites and will bring hikers to all parts of the country, including the periphery, thereby making significant economic contributions to these areas.

The proposal also details the economic potential of the trans-Israel trail both for domestic and incoming tourism.

Israel’s three millionth tourist this year landed in Israel on Nov. 7, marking a new all-time record for incoming tourism in Israel.

Figures from the ministry show that the number of tourists (including day visitors) totaled 3.17 million during the first 10 months of this year, up 27 percent compared with the same period of 2016.

Since the beginning of 2017, tourism has become one of the most significant economic engines in the Israeli economy and revenue from incoming tourism stands at about NIS 17 billion (about 4.9 billion dollars). The average expenditure of a tourist in Israel is about 1,500 dollars.

Editor: Zhou Xin