The Israeli Ministry of Tourism has approved the sum of NIS 30 million to construct the first-ever fully accessible hotel in Israel, with rooms, facilities, and public areas adapted to people with physical disabilities, meeting all accessibility standards. Construction is already going strong, and the hotel is expected to open by the end of the year.
Minister of Tourism Yoel Razvozov: “Taking a vacation is much more than a luxury. In my opinion, it is unthinkable that an entire sector of the public cannot vacation here in Israel. Therefore, we at the Ministry of Tourism consider it of the utmost importance to make tourism in Israel much more accessible to people with disabilities. Our job is to make sure they have everything they need to tour Israel like everyone else. This is an important project, and I am sure that many more like it will be launched hereafter.”
Located in Romema, Jerusalem, the 200-room hotel was initiated by Yad Sarah, the largest national volunteer organization in Israel, loaning medical, rehabilitative equipment, and other services for the homebound and the elderly. The estimated cost is around NIS 150 million.
The Ministry of Tourism works to make tourism accessible to people with disabilities, so they can travel and function independently, with dignity and equality. The increase in life expectancy brings about a rise in the number of people growing old and becoming disabled in one way or another. Yet, they want to maintain their quality of life and continue to travel Israel and the world. The Ministry has recently completed another project, making four miles of the Old fully accessible, thus turning Jerusalem into one of the most accessible ancient cities worldwide.
According to the World Health Organization, about 15% of the world’s population (a billion people) live with some form of disability, and the numbers are rising every year. Add to those people who suffer from temporary disabilities, and the numbers rise to a staggering 31% of the population.