The award was given to Mayor Barkat because of his long-standing activities in positioning Jerusalem on the international and Israeli tourism map, providing a unique impetus for building hotels, demonstrating a deep understanding of the hotel industry and its needs.
Mayor Nir Barkat noted that "our investment in tourism has proven itself, and thanks to creative ideas and thinking outside the box, together with the Jerusalem Development Authority and my partners in the city, I have succeeded in increasing the amount of tourism to Jerusalem, and to expose the beauty of Jerusalem, and with innovation and creativity, we can turn Israel into a pearl of tourism, strengthen the economy and expose our beautiful country to the world. "Thank you very much to the Israel Hotel Association.! "
This is an exciting occasion for the mayor, who since his inception has worked to encourage and develop tourism in the city, in cooperation with the Jerusalem Development Authority, the Jerusalem Affairs Ministry, the Ministry of Tourism and Prof. Michael Porter.
This cooperation led to a revolution in the field, and in recent years we have witnessed a trend of increased demand for hotels in Jerusalem. At the Jerusalem Marathon event last month, some 3,700 runners from around the world came to Jerusalem to enjoy the attractions it have to offer. In addition, the Jerusalem Conference Assosiation is promoting conferences in Jerusalem, so that almost every week a different conference is held in the city, bringing hundreds of visitors who stay for the rest of the week. Tech and high-tech industries are also being promoted simultaneously in the city.
In addition, thanks to the allocation of many resources, including budgets allocated specifically by the Ministry of Tourism, which worked to advance the Encouragement of Capital Investments Law, 1,000 new hotel rooms will be added by the end of 2018 (both in boutique and other hotels). The next few years will add another 4,000 rooms.
The unprecedented investment in the hotel industry is bearing fruit, and a recent survey shows that Jerusalem is perceived by its critics, Israelis and others alike, as a creative, leading and interesting city, especially in culinary and cultural fields. At the same time, there was a 25% increase in visits by independent tourists and in Milan tourism (tourism abroad), and a 35% increase in domestic tourism.