Cheaper Rates Envisioned as Hotel Construction Streamlined

YERUSHALAYIM -

A plan to streamline the procedures and permits for hotel construction will result in a reduction in room prices of 20 percent in 5 years, according to Israel officials.

If the proposal is implemented, the average time to open a hotel in Israel would be cut by half, allowing hoteliers to lower their rates, Globes reported on Wednesday.

The plan was announced by Tourism Minister Yariv Levin and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon at a joint press conference on Wednesday.

In addition, the Tourism Ministry’s new national plan which permits “mixed use,” will enable developers to add up to 20% building rights for residences alongside the commercial hotel rights.

These changes would increase the supply of guest rooms and lower the costs of stays by some 20 percent, said Levin.

The claim that red tape has been stunting the hotel business was provided by Alfred Akirov, owner of Mamilla Hotel and David Citadel Hotel in Yerushalayim, who was quoted as saying: “I have no intention of opening new businesses here because of the burdensome regulation; I’ll just maintain the existing ones.”

Levin said: “Hotel construction will no longer be for the die-hard, and will begin in larger numbers. We are making a fast lane to bring to one committee all tourism projects to be developed across the country. It will completely change the existing reality.”