Tourism ministry cancels domestic tourism ad campaign due to high hotel prices

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The tourism ministry has canceled its campaign to encourage summer vacations in Israel due to soaring prices at hotels across the country.

Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov has decided to withdraw the campaign advertisements, launched before he took office in early June, due to the high costs of holiday accommodation.

“I see no reason to continue the campaign when the holiday prices are so high – it’s a shame to waste public funds on it,” Razvozov said. “Holidays are not just for the rich. The minister pledged to “act urgently” to resolve the problem.

On Tuesday, the Tourism Ministry announced an initiative to ask the Israeli Hotel Association (IHA) to compile a list of hotels willing to offer discounts to potential guests. The IHA is expected to publish a list of more than 100 hotels across the country offering at least 15% off, alongside other offers.

The ministry said prices in Israel are particularly high due to the COVID crisis, causing a severe shortage of workers and restrictions on tourists entering Israel. A tourism ministry official said hotels in the Dead Sea and Eilat, two of Israel’s largest tourist destinations, declined to participate, in part because hotels there are already nearly occupied.

“I am happy to take the first step on the road to reducing the costs of holidays in Israel, in line with the policy recently presented by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in his talks with me,” Razvozov said. “I am aware of the forces of the free market and the real challenges this period poses for hoteliers, but vacations in Israel cannot be reserved for the rich… this is, of course, only the beginning, and I hope. that more and more hotels will join the list.

New Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov at a handover ceremony on June 15, 2021 (Moshe Hermon / Benovich Communications)

The business daily Marker reported that prices at Tel Aviv hotels in July and August for two nights for a family of four ranged from 3,300 NIS to 5,300 NIS ($ 1,000 to $ 1,600), while prices Fares for four days in Eilat would cost 14,000 NIS ($ 4,300). ).

But a Ynet report claimed that some of the discount offers for hotels allegedly on the Tourism Ministry’s list are not new, others are expiring quickly and some hotel representatives were unaware of the specials. .

At a press conference at Ben-Gurion Airport last week, Bennett urged Israelis to avoid unnecessary overseas travel this summer.

“At this point I would like to ask: anyone who doesn’t need to go overseas, don’t go,” Bennett said. “If it’s essential, it’s okay, but if it’s not necessary, take a tour of Israel. We have a beautiful country. We will strengthen domestic tourism. From here I appeal to the domestic tourism folks: Be welcoming and make sure you have the same prices for everyone.

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