This amazing locale - Ein Bokek- on the southern shores of the Dead Sea is the recipient of a US$100M subsidy investment to build a 240-room hotel, with two indoor swimming pools and a helipad.Â The funding comes from the beautiful and chic city of Moscow, considered one of the three richest cities in the world. Israel aims to boost the number of tourists to the country to about 5 million by 2012, from 2.3 million last year. About 9 percent of the visitors last year were from Russia. Russia and Israel signed a visa-free travel agreement this year, effective from September 20, which is expected to increase the number of Russian tourists to 400,000 in 2009. [source]
Moscow is home to some 400,000 people affected by psoriasis, a chronic skin disease which can be temporarily relieved with treatment at the Dead Sea. These people, along with other victims of skin disease, are expected to be the primary recipients of the subsidized vacations at the resort, set to open in 2011. The other half of the rooms will be used for commercial purposes.
It was the new visa regulations that made this project possible, encouraging an unprecedented $100 million worth of investment on behalf of the city of Moscow.