JERUSALEM (Jul. 2)
Moshe Kol predicted today that tourist traffic to Israel will increase 10-12 percent in the next few years but cautioned that Israel’s tourist industry must gear itself to cater to the mass rather than the class trade.
Addressing the Knesset, the Minister of Tourism said that present world trends indicated a massive low-price tourist market. He recommended an extension of the current policy of curtailing construction of four and five star (luxury) hotels in favor of youth hostels and camping sites. Kol said that to encourage the low budget tourist, his Ministry has entered an agreement with El Al for winter-tours from the U.S. that will cost as little as $440 for a ten-day excursion including round-trip air fare.
Kol hinted that he was displeased with the government’s present policy which bans charter flights except for pilgrims and students from Europe and said the authorities would have to give special consideration to the problem of inexpensive flights from the U.S.
Kol reported that there are presently 307 hotels in Israel with a total of 19,500 hotel rooms and 9300 more rooms under construction.