Israel’s Ministry of Tourism reports spending over 19 million NIS on the preservation and maintenance of Jewish holy sites in 2011 and a similar sum has been set aside for 2012.
From press releases from the Ministry of Tourism for Israel: Tourist Minister Stas Misezhnikov announced that during 2012, the Rashbi (Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai) Heritage Company will bring another 27 million NIS for the preservation of Jewish Holy Sites.
The National Center for the Development of Holy Sites, managed by Rabbi Yosef Schweinger, aids and guides the Ministry of Tourism's projects in maintaining and developing the numerous and varied Jewish religious sites in Israel. Maintenance and conservation projects during 2011 included:
• Mt. Zion
• The City of David
• Rampart's Walk Zedekiah’s Cave
• The Western Wall
• The tombs of Rachel the Matriarch and King David
Minister of Tourism, Stas Misezhnikov confirmed that maintenance and reconstruction of Jewish holy sites are a significant part of the Ministry of Tourism's programme of tourist and heritage development on a national and international level. A quarter of the 3.4 million tourists entering Israel in 2011, were Jewish visitors.
The political upheaval in neighbouring countries, and the economic problems faced by the United States and Europe have not significantly disrupted the Israeli tourist industry and the expected economic damages similar to that of 2002-3, caused by the second intifada, did not occur.
It appears that a strong targeted campaign launched by the Ministry of Tourism promoting Israel, helped stabilise the tourist industry this year so that only a 2% decrease in visitors occurred over 2011, as compared to 2010.
An earlier announcement was made in December 2011 by the Ministry of tourism that their 'Investment Administration' intends to boost aid for the hotel industry by investing 270 million NIS in building, renovations and refurbishment, with the Ministry of Tourism contributing 50 million NIS.