Praise for man who put Eilat on the tourist map

14th Aug 2011

The British entrepreneur who transformed Eilat into an international holiday destination has died at his home in London at the age of 87.

David Lewis, Chairman of Isrotel, built several hotels in Eilat, creating thousands of jobs, and is often praised for having put ‘revolutionised Israeli tourism’ by putting Eilat on the International tourist map.

He opened King Solomon’s Palace in 1984, as one of the first five-star properties in the desert resort of Eilat. The luxurious property offered everything the tourist could want in one location, setting it out as a unique concept.

After his first foray into Eilat, Lewis opened dozens of hotels and spas across Israel in Tel Aviv, Mitzpe Ramon, the Dead Sea and the Carmel Forest Spa near Haifa under the brand – Isrotel.

There are currently 50 hotels in Eilat, eight of which are part of the Isrotel group.


Rafi Shalev, the director of the Israel Government Tourist Office in London commented on what a great loss it was for the industry: “He was one of the leaders and main contributers to the development of travel to Israel, especially Eilat.” He said.

Two years ago, during a special ceremony, a promenade in Eilat was named after David Lewis, who was awarded CBE in 1995.

The modern city of Eilat was established in 1950. In the early 1950s, a quay was built in the new city, and subsequently a port which became the basis for the new city’s economy. Towards the end of the 1960s, the tourism industry started developing in the city, and today Eilat is a paradise for tourists, travellers and vacationers.

The bay is one of the major attractions, thanks to the beautiful beaches, the developed water sports and some of the best diving spots in the world. In the south of the city is the Coral Reserve, with tropical fish among the reefs. 

The Arava region north of the city and the Eilat Mountains is an arid desert. But in between the exposed mountains there are many nature and beauty spots as well as archaeological and historical sites.


Also in Israel today, City.Mobi is celebrating the success of its new guide to Tel Aviv.

City.Mobi offers the most comprehensive mobile travel guides available, with over 800 cities in 200 countries listed. Each is developed by the City.Mobi team to combine into a single global travel directory.

However, each city retains its own mobile identity via a dedicated domain. Already on offer are Brussels.Mobi, Paris.Mobi, Sanfrancisco.Mobi and Sydney.Mobi.

‘ is the latest in this illustrious line up, offering click to call functionality – which means no scribbling down telephone numbers.

Most entries are also linked to websites where users can quickly access more detailed information if needed.

Other key features include information on accommodation, restaurants, attractions, entertainment, nightlife, shopping, and transport.

City.Mobi guides include user reviews and traveller utilities such as a translation guide, currency converter, news and local weather guide.



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