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Israel Urged to Give Tourists Better Rates for Foreign Currency

The Government Tourist Corporation has requested the Government to increase the tourist foreign currency exchange premium from the current 20 percent which it considers inadequate, Teddy Kollek, director-general of the Prime Minister’s office disclosed today at a press conference.

The Corporation, which is an agency of the Prime Minister’s office, also felt that local authorities had not shared in efforts to foster tourism, when they refused to waive the 10 percent municipal tax on hotel bills paid in foreign currency, Mr. Kollek said.

Top-grade tourist accommodation, Mr. Kollek declared, was assured until 1965 because of accelerated hotel construction. He noted, however, that there was need for popular priced hotels as well as expansion of facilities of existing ones. Investments by the Corporation for the next five years in loans for construction and expansion will total 140,000,000 pounds ($78,400,000), he announced.

Government sources reported today there had been a slight increase in immigration during 1960, with 23,644 newcomers as compared with 23,045 in 1959. Total immigration since establishment of Israel in 1948 was listed as 990,000, including tourists who later settled permanently.

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