7 huge new tourism projects planned in Israel



With tourism increasing, Israel is investing in a substantial infrastructure that will radically change the travel industry. See what is in store

Several exciting infrastructure projects are in the making to make touring Israel more comfortable, memorable and more accessible. The time is ripe because the statistics of tourism are getting higher and higher.

In 2017, 3.6 million tourists went to Israel, an increase of 25 percent compared to 2016. Between January and June 2018 record records of 2 million tourists were registered, an increase of 19% compared to the same period last year. The most popular destinations are Jerusalem, Tel Aviv-Jaffa, the Dead Sea, Tiberias and the Galilee.

ISRAEL21c looks at seven projects in different phases of planning and construction. Please note that the estimated completion dates can be changed.

1, cable car in Jerusalem

Approximately 85% of tourists to Israel visit the iconic religious sites in the old city of Jerusalem. Although special arrangements can be made for visitors with mobility restrictions, accessibility is problematic. Buses and cars fight against heavy traffic; parking is not enough. Pedestrians come up against stairs, uneven cobblestones and narrow alleys.

That's why Tourism Minister Yariv Levin did not exaggerate when he said that a planned cable car "will change the face of Jerusalem, giving tourists and visitors easy and comfortable access to the Western Wall, and will serve as an excellent tourist attraction in its own straight."

On the day of Jerusalem last May, the government approved Levin's proposal to invest $ 56 million in the construction of a 1,400-meter cable car from the First Station Recreation Area (with ample parking and bus transport) to the Dung Gate, the entrance closest to the Davidson Center – Jerusalem Archaeological Park and Western Wall.

Estimated to be operational in 2021, the cable car stops along the Olijfberg, Mount Zion and the city of David. It is estimated that 3,000 people could be transported every hour in any direction.

This extraordinary railroad will revolutionize journeys between the two largest cities of the country, replacing a 60 km long journey of about one hour, or sometimes more in rush hour, with a smooth journey of less than 30 minutes.

The fast train travels to Ben-Gurion International Airport, the four stations of Tel Aviv and a transport hub next to the central bus station of Jerusalem and the light rail.

The Israeli railroad project of $ 1.9 billion, involving nine bridges and four tunnels, had to start last March, but due to repeated delays everyone was waiting impatiently.

New double-decker trains arriving in Israel for the fast-rail connection between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Image courtesy of Israel Railways

Every time it starts running, perhaps at the end of September, the fast-rail will eventually have four double-decker trains every hour in each direction, each with about 1,000 passengers.

2, The fast rail line between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem

This extraordinary railroad will revolutionize journeys between the two largest cities of the country, replacing a 60 km long journey of about one hour, or sometimes more in rush hour, with a smooth journey of less than 30 minutes.

The fast train travels to Ben-Gurion International Airport, the four stations of Tel Aviv and a transport hub next to the central bus station of Jerusalem and the light rail.

The Israeli railroad project of $ 1.9 billion, involving nine bridges and four tunnels, had to start last March, but due to repeated delays everyone was waiting impatiently.

Every time it starts running, perhaps at the end of September, the fast-rail will eventually have four double-decker trains every hour in each direction, each with about 1,000 passengers.

3, Jewish theme park in Dimona

Take a ride on Jacob's Ladder and hold on tightly for the roller coaster of the People of the Book – two of the 16 attractions planned for Park Pla-im (Park of the Miracles) are being built in the southern city of Dimona.

Park Pla-im is advertised as a Jewish theme park that promotes universal values. Reportedly, Park Pla-im was designed by ITEC Entertainment from Florida, which designs theme parks internationally.

The tourist destination of $ 400 million includes five worlds & # 39; each with four or five attractions: Oasis, World of Spirits, World of the Jewish Nation, World of Society and World of Time.

The planned opening date of Park Pla-im is 2023. Hotels and other tourist facilities are planned in the vicinity of the theme park, with opportunities to make this desert city south of Beersheva and the Dead Sea an inviting attraction. There is already a luxury hotel in the city, the Drachim.

18 kilometers north of Eilat, the premiere tourist resort of Israel at the northern tip of the Red Sea, Israel's new 34,000 square meters international airport, Eilat J. Hozman Airport, will be 60 kilometers away in the center of Eilat and Ovda Airport. north of the city.

From October 2017 to April 2018, the critical winter season, 145,841 airline passengers landed in Ovda and arrived on approximately 50 weekly flights from Europe. That is an increase of 56% compared to the winter season 2016-17.

It is expected that the new airport – planned to open early 2019 – will lead to even greater numbers of domestic and foreign tourists.

4, Eilat Ramon Airport

Architect view of the passenger terminal of Eilat Ramon Airport. Photo: courtesy

18 kilometers north of Eilat, the premiere tourist resort of Israel at the northern tip of the Red Sea, Israel's new 34,000 square meters international airport, Eilat J. Hozman Airport, will be 60 kilometers away in the center of Eilat and Ovda Airport. north of the city.

From October 2017 to April 2018, the critical winter season, 145,841 airline passengers landed in Ovda and arrived on approximately 50 weekly flights from Europe. That is an increase of 56% compared to the winter season 2016-17.

It is expected that the new airport – planned to open early 2019 – will lead to even greater numbers of domestic and foreign tourists.

5, Crusader Wall Promenade

Part of the Crusader Wall Promenade, Caesarea. Photo by Victor Levy

The Crusader Wall Promenade, a newly opened tourist attraction in Caesarea Harbor National Park, concerned the preservation and renovation of the Roman boulevard, walls, fortifications and towers, as well as the Crusader market.

Funded by the Caesarea Edmond Benjamin de Rothschild Foundation, the Crusader Wall Promenade is part of a larger tourism initiative in the 2000-year-old port city, which has many archaeological ruins and attracts half a million visitors every year.

6, Ecological Beach in Eilat

A 200-meter stretch of coastline on the Gulf of Eilat bordering the Dolphin Reef is being developed as an ecological beach and environmental education center.

An old pier on the site, formerly used for transporting oil, will be renovated as a tourist environmental attraction – complete with a marine garden, wind chimes and natural climbing structures – as well as a headquarters for the Israeli youth group Shomrei Hamifratz (Guards of the Gulf).

The coastline of Eilat includes a marine reserve with beautiful coral reefs.

7, Bedouin Boutique Hotel

Bedouin-like accommodations – desert khans or tents in the Negev or Galilee – are popular with low-budget and back-to-nature tourists.

In the near future, there will be a new option in the Bedouin tourist experiences in Israel: the world's first hotel in a Bedouin village.

The 120-room 4-star hotel will be built at the foot of Mount Tabor in the village of Shibli-Umm al-Ghanam.

The Ministry of Tourism has approved a budget for setting up a tourist infrastructure in the village, strategically located near Christian holy sites, the Gospel Trail and the Israel Trail.

According to the director of Shibli, director Na & # 39; im Shibli, the hotel "will be based on the Bedouin culture, with Bedouin hospitality and healthy natural Bedouin cuisine from Galilee.This is a luxury hotel unlike any other in Israel, which is an economic boost will give to the village and the entire region. "

By: Abigail Klein Leichman
(Israel 21C)


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