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More Credit Extended to Hotel Ventures in Israel, Says Local Banker

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More Credit Extended to Hotel Ventures in Israel, Says Local Banker

Private entrepreneurs and international hotel chains are taking more local credit in the last two years, says Bank Hapoalim’s Tzahi Cohen

Anat Danieli  :  2018-07-18T16:16:14..
Over 3 million tourists visited Israel in 2017, and by all accounts, their number will be even higher in 2018. The increase is reflected in the credit requested—and awarded to—the local tourism industry, according to Tzahi Cohen, head of corporate banking at Israeli Bank Hapoalim.

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"In the last two years we've seen an increase in the demand for credit from private entrepreneurs and international hotel chains as well," said Cohen, speaking at a Calcalist conference on tourism and technology in Tel Aviv Wednesday.

Tzahi Cohen. Photo: Amit Sha Tzahi Cohen. Photo: Amit Sha'al Tzahi Cohen. Photo: Amit Sha

Banks provide only 4% of existing business credit in the Israeli tourism industry, Cohen said, adding that he believes that the amount hotels are borrowing from banks will continue to increase. The development of the local tourism industry is an "important national challenge," he said.

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According to OECD data, gross domestic product (GDP) from tourism in Israel was 2.4% of the total GDP for 2016, below the OECD average. According to Cohen, these figures represent the strong potential for growth, not just for hotels, but also for adjacent industries like restaurants, cultural venues, and local retailers.
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