In the context of a significant increase in tourism to Jerusalem over the past two years, a cable car plan designed to address the problem of traffic and accessibility in the southeastern basin of the Old City was submitted to the National Infrastructure Committee on Monday, October 29.
In 2017, an estimated 3.6 million tourists visited Israel, an all-time record and increase of 25% compared to the previous year. “On holidays for the three monotheistic religions, between tens and hundreds of thousands of people visit the Old City,” noted the Tourism Ministry press release.
According to Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin, the NIS 200 million project will allow “easy and convenient access for tourists and visitors to the Western Wall,” as well as serving as an “exceptional and important tourist attraction.”
The plan, if approved by the committee, will move to the stage of comments and objection from the National Infrastructure Committee, comprised of government representatives, public representatives and representatives of local authorities.
According to the Tourism Ministry press release, the cable car will connect to high-traffic tourist areas around the city, including Mount Zion and the walls of the Old City, close to historical, religious and archaeological sites.
Noted the press release, “The cable car project is a significant milestone in promoting Jerusalem and strengthening its status as a world tourism capital, in order to significantly increase incoming tourism to the country and strengthen its economy. The cable car, which will also be a unique tourist attraction with views from above of Jerusalem and its unique sites, will also serve to strengthen and develop the night tourism product of the city.
In addition, the cable car will overcome the difficulties of accessibility of tourists wishing to reach the Old City. This type of cable car operates very successfully in cities around the world and is a significant attraction.”
The project, which would be implemented by the Jerusalem Development Authority, would not require any additional land, construction or expansion of roads and is a “green project” with minimal environmental damage, quiet technology, zero pollution and no problems of radiation.