The tent city planned for Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv during the Eurovision Song Contest has been called off. There were no bidders in the tender published by the Tel Aviv municipality two months ago. An attempt to erect a temporary campsite in cooperation with the Israel Nature and National Parks Protection Authority was also unsuccessful because of the short time remaining before the competition - only 60 days.
The proposed tent city was designed to provide a fairly priced place to sleep for tourists visiting Israel for the Eurovision Song Context. Sleeping in Hayarkon Park was meant to solve two problems: the high prices of hotel stays in Tel Aviv and transportation access to Hayarkon Park, where the contest will take place, especially before the finals and dress rehearsal on Friday night and Saturday, when buses and Israel Railways do not operate.
It seemed like a good idea, but entrepreneurs were unenthusiastic. According to reports at the time, the Tel Aviv municipality's plan was to leave the tent city in place for two months and provide a place to sleep for 2,000 guests, including those coming after the contest to attend the Gay Parade.
The vision was to set up a site offering three differently priced types of accommodations: field tents brought by the people wanting to stay there or small tents for rent at up to NIS 250, "glamping" (glamor camping) - a more comfortable tent providing conditions similar to a hotel at NIS 600 per couple and NIS 800 for a family tent, and a luxury caravan site equipped with accessories and air conditioning, showers, and services at up to NIS 1,000 for four guests. A total of 2,000 beds was planned.
Another factor working against the tent city, certainly given the short time remaining before the competition, was the need for bathrooms and showers for the guests. The municipality also wanted to establish food and beverage areas, a stand for renting out bicycles, and shuttles to the Euro village site in Charles Clore Park, where the Eurovision Song Contest will be broadcast on huge screens and sponsors of the event will be visible.
The potential bidders were in no hurry to participate in the tender. As far as is known, no one bid in the tender, among other things because of the challenges involved in providing caravans, which are in short supply in Israel. The tender conditions included a requirement that the bidder have a NIS 2 million annual turnover and have produced at least three lengthy events with over 1,000 people, or be the owners of a site with night accommodations for at least 300 people. The Tel Aviv municipality said at the time that it had not copied this model from any other country; it was an independent idea.
The Tel Aviv municipality said in response, "The Tel Aviv municipality is striving to provide an extraordinary experience for tourists coming to the city for the Eurovision. Unfortunately, the tent city initiative was unsuccessful because entrepreneurs did not respond to the tender. At the same time, the camping idea was only one of a great many initiatives that we are planning for the Eurovision Song Contest aimed at making things easier for tourists and helping them enjoy the activities and events that the city has to offer."
The Israel Nature and National Parks Protection Authority said, "Our parking lots throughout Israel are as usual open to Israel travelers and foreign tourists during the Eurovision Song Contest. Further details are available on the Israel Nature and National Parks Protection Authority website."
Rishon Lezion has also abandoned a tent city plan
Another city with the idea of setting up a tent city for the period of the Eurovision Song Contest was Rishon Lezion. The Yizum Rishon municipal corporation tried to promote the initiative, and its representatives met with counterparts from the Tel Aviv municipality in an attempt to learn from the tender planned in Tel Aviv.
A source previously told "Globes" that the area designated for the plan, had the project gotten off the ground, would have been in western Rishon Lezion, near the beach. Today, however, a source told "Globes" that the project had been shelved because of problems with the tender and the short amount of time available. The source added that the decision in the matter had been taken before the Tel Aviv municipality abandoned the tent city idea.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on March 18, 2019
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