The government announced Monday that a group of 500 Jordanian workers has been approved for employment in hotels in Eilat. They will join another 400 workers who have been working there for the past year.
According to Interior Minister Rabbi Aryeh Deri, “The 400 workers who come into Eilat daily from Jordan to work in the hotel industry have proved the success of this project to date and their contribution to the industry. The arrival of another 500, as part of the second round, will provide significant help to the hotels, especially in advance of the holiday and summer season. This arrangement is an important contribution to the Israeli economy and to bilateral relations.”
The government instituted the program last year to make up for a significant shortage of workers in Eilat. In June 2014, the government approved the decision to allow up to 1,500 workers of Jordanian citizenship to work in the Eilat hotels in order to offer a stable and timely solution to the manpower shortage and in accordance with hotel occupancy. The workers come in to work and return to Jordan at the end of their shifts. The workers are employed in cleaning, dishwashing and room service in the Eilat hotels only.
There are about 12,000 hotel rooms in Eilat, and thousands of workers are required to cover positions in cleaning, dishwashing and room service. Eilat cannot supply the needed workers, and it is impractical to bring in workers for such jobs from the center of the country – hence the Jordanian worker plan, the Interior Ministry said.
According to Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, “Eilat is the tourist resort with the highest number of tourist nights in Israel and the need for workers in the hotel industry is growing as the summer season approaches. The quality of the tourism experience and the service in Eilat hotels is critical to the future of tourism in the city, where most Eilat residents work in the industry. These are day workers who leave Israel at the end of the working day and this also serves to promote the relations between Israel and Jordan.”