Tourists Less Than Satisfied With Visits to Israel, Poll Shows

YERUSHALAYIM -
Ben Gurion, Terminal 1
A departure screen at Ben Gurion International Airport. (Flash90)

Tourists to Israel feel they do not get value for the money they spend on vacations here, a poll by the Tourism Ministry reveals. On a scale of one to five, in which five represents “very satisfied,” the average tourist rated their experience in Israel as a middling 3.1. Since 2009, the satisfaction rate among tourists has fallen 20 percent, the ministry said.

The least satisfied tourists are those from Romania, who rated their trip at 2.4 on the satisfaction level. Tourists from Finland (2.5 percent), Spain (2.6 percent), and Belarus, Poland, Mexico, Cyprus, and South Africa (all 2.7 percent) were quite dissatisfied with their Israel trip. Tourists from the United States (3.5 percent) and France (3.4 percent), on the other hand, were relatively satisfied with their trip.

One thing tourists are not in Israel is fearful. Tourists said that on a scale of one to five, they gave a 4.3 score to how safe they felt in Israel. In 2009 that figure was 4.1, and it had sunk to 3.9 by 2011. Tourists from Russia and Belarus felt safest, giving personal safety a 4.6 rating.

Tourists are also satisfied with Israeli tour guides, who received an average 4.5 rating. The highest rating was a 4.9, which was given by a group of Indonesian tourists. Tourists from India, Brazil, Romania, the Philippines, Ukraine, the U.S., Canada, Mexico and many other countries also rated Israeli tour guides highly. Less popular among tourists were Israeli taxi drivers, who received a 3.5 ranking.

Restaurant eating is a big part of vacation enjoyment, and tourists were fairly satisfied with their dining experiences in Israel, rating the restaurants here at 3.9 out of 5. Russians and Indians gave Israeli restaurants a higher than average rating, while visitors from Eastern Europe rated them below average. Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said his ministry was studying the results in order to determine where and how Israel could improve its satisfaction rating.