Chinese Construction Workers Hired as Tour Guides


Tourism Minister Yariv Levin opened the Israeli pavilion on Monday at WTM, the World Travel Market taking place this week in London. About 5,000 exhibitors from 182 countries are expected to participate in the three-day fair, which attracts about 30,000 visitors, including representatives from the travel and tourism industry from around the world, journalists and the general public.

Director-General Yossi Petel said that “the most significant growth in Israeli tourism over the past year has come from among developing and distant countries, while growth in Western Europe and the U.S. has been slower. China stands out with a particularly dramatic rise in tourism to Israel, and Israel struggles to catch up. A severe shortage in suitable tour guides has led to a demand for higher fees by the guides, as well as the entrance of Chinese construction workers into their ranks.”

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said: “We are at the beginning of a fascinating and significant period. For the first time, tourism in Israel receives a significant place in the perception of the government. We have succeeded in obtaining very large budgets, positioning the tourism ministry as a medium-sized ministry, no longer a small ministry.

“We have experienced years of problems related to tourism traffic, but this time, as opposed to previous times, we continued our marketing campaigns and with even greater force, expressing confidence in our product. Today, it is already possible to say that, thanks to the ministry’s actions, we are in a balanced position, an excellent way to start 2017.”