Israel Invests 5 Million USD Over 2-Years to Improve Bicycle Tourism
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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Israel Invests 5 Million USD Over 2-Years to Improve Bicycle Tourism

by VeloNation Press at 2:53 PM EST   comments
Categories: General
As released by their Ministry of Tourism on, the Israeli government will invest NIS 20m (5.2 million USD) over the next two years in promoting the cycling tourism industry.

Within the framework of the government decision, the inter-ministerial committee headed by Tourism Ministry Director-General Shaul Tzemach presented an interim report on the subject that included planning and laying cycling paths in the center of Israel, the Galilee and the Negev, areas with potential for economic and tourism development.

Tourism Minister Ruhama Avraham-Balila noted that "The Tourism Ministry is leading the way in promoting the cycling tourism industry with the objective of turning it into an essential component in the leisure and entertainment culture of Israel". The Minister added that the new paths would be laid with consideration for nature preservation.

The new cycling paths network, as set out in the interim report, will include connecting urban paths in major cities to paths in the surrounding countryside, thereby offering direct access for sporting activities for the cycling public.

The plan also calls for the establishment of the Israel Cycling Trail, 1200 kms stretching from north to south of the country, from which additional regional paths will branch off, with added tourism and commercial value. Other cycling paths planned to open next year in the North include a 130 km path encircling the Sea of Galilee; a cycling path in the Acre and Krayot areas; and paths in the Gilboa and Beit Keshet areas.

New cycling paths in the center of the country will include the Yarkon, Ayalon and Alexander Rivers; a tourist cycling route in the city and parks of Jerusalem and cycling paths around Beer Sheba, Shikma Valley and Arad area in the south.

Operating centers for cycling in these areas will also be established to serve as a basis for local and regional initiatives. The infrastructure development will be accompanied by educational initiatives to promote cycling for its contribution to a healthy lifestyle, to quality of life and the environment etc.

The Tourism Ministry Director-General noted that, in early 2009, the committee is scheduled to present to the government the full implementation plan for 2009-2013, with a budget of NIS 80m and plans for the national development of cycling paths, together with marketing and educational activities.

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