Hotel in Tel Aviv (illustrative)
Hotel in Tel Aviv (illustrative)Flash 90

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin (Likud) on Monday held a round table discussion with representatives from the Finance Ministry, hotel industry, and tour organizers, demanding that funding be immediately transferred to the sector.

Levin emphasized the severe crisis the tourism sector is facing, and especially the crisis faced by the hotel industry. He noted that tourism is a driving force in Israel's economy, and must receive appropriate aid during the coronavirus outbreak, which shuttered the sector abruptly, earlier than it shuttered most others.

Israel is not expected to reopen its borders before September, causing the country to lose its most popular tourist season.

In addition to demanding immediate funds for the sector, Levin said that in order to prevent the sector's collapse, the Health Ministry needs to agree to gradually allow its reopening within a short time.

Hotels in Eilat and Tiberias, which form a major part of those cities' economies, need help most urgently, he added.

"This is not a simple time for the tourism sector in general and the hotel industry in particular," Levin said. "I am aware of the severe crisis faced by the hotel owners, and I am making a real effort to find any solution that may help them."