A government decision to help the tourism industry via a NIS 25 million budget to the Tourism Ministry to provide guided tours for the general public is sending Israeli tour guides back to work.
According to a release from the Tourism Ministry, the first stage will shortly begin operating with a NIS 10 million budget that will revive tours through the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, using “qualified tour guides.”
On Monday representatives from the Israel Ministry of Tourism and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority were aided by the Israel Tour Guides Association in putting the final touches on the employment agreement for the initiative.
An invitation to participate in the project will be sent to all qualified tour guides in the coming days.
Tours are to take place weekdays and weekends in cities, national parks and other tourist sites throughout the country. “The tours will be guided by qualified tour guides, as required by law, and under the latest Ministry of Health guidelines,” the Tourism Ministry said.
“The Israel Nature and Parks Authority is pleased to assist the industry that has been in distress since the outbreak of the corona pandemic and invites the public to enjoy a wide selection of tours around the country in national parks, nature reserves and tourist sites,” said Israel Nature and Parks Authority acting CEO Raya Shurki.
“The initiative offers the opportunity for public exposure to sites less travelled in the company of a professional tour guide who will enrich the experience with information and content.”
Ganit Peleg, Chair of the Israel Tour Guides Association said she welcomed the agreement, “which will allow tour guides to work and be paid for their time. . .This is the first step towards the tour guides’ return to employment – something that has not happened for nearly two years.
“I would like to call on other bodies and government ministries to come and open a direct channel of employment for as many tour guides as possible to integrate them into guiding. In this way, they can once again earn their daily bread, in the scope and wage that we knew before the outbreak of the pandemic.”