Click to join an upcoming live event

Turn off Ads (click)

Click on your language to translate this article:

Afrikaans Afrikaans Albanian Albanian Amharic Amharic Arabic Arabic Armenian Armenian Azerbaijani Azerbaijani Basque Basque Belarusian Belarusian Bengali Bengali Bosnian Bosnian Bulgarian Bulgarian Catalan Catalan Cebuano Cebuano Chichewa Chichewa Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Traditional) Chinese (Traditional) Corsican Corsican Croatian Croatian Czech Czech Danish Danish Dutch Dutch English English Esperanto Esperanto Estonian Estonian Filipino Filipino Finnish Finnish French French Frisian Frisian Galician Galician Georgian Georgian German German Greek Greek Gujarati Gujarati Haitian Creole Haitian Creole Hausa Hausa Hawaiian Hawaiian Hebrew Hebrew Hindi Hindi Hmong Hmong Hungarian Hungarian Icelandic Icelandic Igbo Igbo Indonesian Indonesian Irish Irish Italian Italian Japanese Japanese Javanese Javanese Kannada Kannada Kazakh Kazakh Khmer Khmer Korean Korean Kurdish (Kurmanji) Kurdish (Kurmanji) Kyrgyz Kyrgyz Lao Lao Latin Latin Latvian Latvian Lithuanian Lithuanian Luxembourgish Luxembourgish Macedonian Macedonian Malagasy Malagasy Malay Malay Malayalam Malayalam Maltese Maltese Maori Maori Marathi Marathi Mongolian Mongolian Myanmar (Burmese) Myanmar (Burmese) Nepali Nepali Norwegian Norwegian Pashto Pashto Persian Persian Polish Polish Portuguese Portuguese Punjabi Punjabi Romanian Romanian Russian Russian Samoan Samoan Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic Serbian Serbian Sesotho Sesotho Shona Shona Sindhi Sindhi Sinhala Sinhala Slovak Slovak Slovenian Slovenian Somali Somali Spanish Spanish Sudanese Sudanese Swahili Swahili Swedish Swedish Tajik Tajik Tamil Tamil Telugu Telugu Thai Thai Turkish Turkish Ukrainian Ukrainian Urdu Urdu Uzbek Uzbek Vietnamese Vietnamese Welsh Welsh Xhosa Xhosa Yiddish Yiddish Yoruba Yoruba Zulu Zulu
Travel News

Israel director general of ministry of tourism says treasury’s evaluation is too optimistic

Written by editor

In a discussion between the finance committee of Knesset, the legislative branch of the Israeli government, and participants from the ministry of tourism, the hotels association, tour organizers, and

In a discussion between the finance committee of Knesset, the legislative branch of the Israeli government, and participants from the ministry of tourism, the hotels association, tour organizers, and airlines, the chairman of the ministry of tourism said that Israel is already ranked well below its neighbors in the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index from the World Economic Forum. If the treasury’s proposals are verified, Israel will not succeed in realizing her tourism potential.

In a meeting held at the Knesset, representatives of the tourism industry attempted to explain to members of the Knesset the severity of the situation, should the vote in favor of imposing VAT on incoming tourist services be approved within the framework of the Law of Arrangements. According to the director general of the ministry of tourism, based on the optimistic evaluation of the Bank of Israel, cancellation of the VAT exemption will lead to a fall of only 170,000 foreign tourists, against this the ministry of tourism estimates a reduction of 290,000 incoming tourists.

He added that, “A reduction like this will lead to the dismissal of thousands of workers, which will not only be felt in the tourism industry, but also in all branches that supply services to the tourism industry, such as food, equipment, textiles, and others.” Noaz Bar Nir stressed that the damage would be fatal to the image of Israel as a leading tourist destination in the region.

“A tourist who decides not to visit Israel today because of the increasing cost of the tourist package will end up visiting a rival destination. Not only will he give up on us now, but also for years to come, not only for himself, but for his family and friends,” he continued.

Roby Herskowicz, country manager of Brussels Airlines in Israel, representing the foreign airlines in Israel, said that there was no argument that hotel accommodation, tour guide rental, and car rental to foreign tourists, are part of the export sector, providing value when paid for in foreign currency.

According to him, it would be unimaginable to impose VAT on the export of oranges, diamonds, and on the unmanned aircraft, so there is no foundation in imposing it on those tourists who still prefer to visit Israel.

At the completion of the discussion, representatives of the industry indicated that some members of the Knesset expressed their objection to the steps of the treasury, among them Shelly Yacimovich from the Labor Party, Miri Regev from Likud, and Shlomo Molla from Kadima, among others.