The Tourism Ministry has received 571 complaints regarding tourism services in Israel
between January-August 2012. Of these, 493 (86.5%) were made by Israelis and only 78 (13.5%) came from foreign visitors.
As the government body charged with supervision and control of tourism quality, the Tourism Ministry offers an open line of communication for tourists and visitors who wish to complain about the tourism services they have received while on vacation in the country.
The Ministry forwards the complaints to the relevant bodies. It should be noted that not all the complaints received to date have been investigated and that some tourists complain directly to the relevant body.
The highest number of complaints (197) made during the first eight months of 2012 related to the hotel industry (this includes complaints about hotels that Israelis stayed in overseas).
Among the complaints received: Service that did not match the advertised service, noise and long queues in the hotel dining room. A total of 149 complaints related to tour operators, 42 related to tourist sites and 13 related to security checks for foreign visitors arriving in Israel.
Most of the complaints were filed by tour guides pointing out issues of cleanliness, long lines, a lack of shade and the quality of service offered to tourists in certain sites.
Similar data can be found in the complaints received by the ministry in 2011, when 743 complaints were received of which 88% (654) were from Israelis and 12% (89) were from foreign tourists.
In 2011, the highest number of complaints were also related to the hotel industry (223) and 194 were related to tour operators. A total of 62 complaints were related to tourist sites and 28 to security issues. Only 12 complaints related to taxi drivers. Two letters of thanks were also received, related to hotel accommodation.
The lowest number of complaints received related to tour guides (only 15 in 2011) – this is the only body that is directly answerable to the Tourism Ministry in terms of control and supervision. Taxis and the airport also received the same low number of complaints in 2011.
According to Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov, “The tourist’s level of satisfaction is a significant factor in realizing Israel’s tourism potential and increasing demand.
"The Tourism Ministry views the improvement of tourism services by the various bodies in the tourism industry as an issue of central importance. Consequently, the ministry carries out many training courses and professional advancement for the tourism industry, based on an understanding that tourism is not just a job but rather a career that demands professionalism.
"The tourist experience is reliant in large part on the services that he receives and every satisfied tourist is an ambassador of good will for Israeli tourism.”