Tourist-Development Minister Says Israel Will Be Able to Meet Jumbo Jet Challenge

Moshe Kol, Israel’s Tourism and Development Minister, expressed confidence here today that Israel’s tourist industry will be able to meet the challenge of the jumbo jets which will soon be going into service on world airways.

Mr. Kol, who is making a 12-city United States tour on behalf of a $20 million investment program to expand Israel’s tourist services, said that "right now," more investors were interested in Israel’s tourist industry than ever before. He said the prospective investors were both Jews and non-Jews in the United States, Europe and South America. His tour is sponsored by Capital for Israel, an agency set up by the Israel Government to promote various aspects of Israel’s economy.

He said most investors approached the Tourist Industry Development Corp., the investment agency of the Tourism Ministry, to ask for participatory loans to build hotels and other such projects in Israel. He added that the $20 million program is in the form of Tourist Industry Development Corp. stock and that the funds "will allow us to continue the encouragement of these investment projects. In this way we will meet the challenge of the jumbo jets."

Noting that his Ministry’s development budget for such projects was dependent on the quick sale of the $20 million issue, he said he hoped that the American Jewish community would help to dispose of the issue. He said there were now about 2,500 hotel rooms under construction in Israel as either new hotels or expansion of existing ones and that another 4,500 more rooms were planned for the next two years. He also reported that in 1968,432,000 tourists visited Israel and produced an income of $95 million dollars, compared with 252,000 visitors and $50 million in 1964.

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