Having Covid-19 controlled in January, the Israel Ministry of Tourism has decided to reopen for international visitors. As an aid to the tourism industry, a new announcement by the government initiating guided tours offered in multiple languages at no expense.[rpi]
In January, a huge budget of NIS 25 million was allocated by the Ministry of Tourism to give away thousands of free guided tours for tourists, from across various cities in Israel.
This is a notable effort of the Israel government to provide the necessary support for the tourism industry after two years of dealing with the pandemic, “we have a great opportunity to help tour guides and, finally, to get out from Zoom and return to sanity, to take our friends and family at no cost and enjoy guided tours in cities and nature reserves. So, take a guide and go touring!”, said the Israel Minister of Tourism Yoel Razvozor.
Chair of the Israel Tour Guides Association Ganit Peleg: “The program that starts today allows tour guides to work after two years in which tourism was halted by the Corona pandemic. Therefore, I call on the general public to go out and tour the country with a licensed tour guide. The tour is not only an experience but also a mitzvah (good deed) for the tour guides. May there be as many tours as possible so that the tour guides have employment.”
Eyal Carlin, the tourism commissioner for North America, added: “Open to all, the tours are available in our national parks and cities. With the country recently reopening to international travelers, we’re happy to welcome visitors back to Israel and provide them with the best experience possible. The guided tours are a fun, educational – and free – way to explore our beautiful country.”
The provided tours will focus on insightful experiences and the intricate history of Israel along the way. Booking is available on Israel’s Nature and Parks authority websites, the full list of tours are now on a designated website (currently comes with Hebrew, Arabic, and Russian, with English coming soon).
Many exclusive tours, as part of the project, are focused on an honest, authentic experience, tour guides take tips as their commission, according to Tripadvisor, the tour guides will not take you to any “luxury shops, or prepaid tours”, it is a 2-hour tour, in which, show you the land from the local perspectives.
One of the best tours you can book right now is the Free Walking Tour, which lets you explore Tel Aviv, the second most populated city in Israel, with famous destinations such as the Dead Sea, or take a stroll through the city markets, filled with exotic ingredients and foods.
Another one is a half-day walking tour to Bethlehem, where Jesus Christ was born, the city is full of historical monuments, from the Manger Square, Church of the Nativity, to the Sheperds’ Field Chapel. These educational and fun tours all cost you nothing but your curiosity and keenness to explore new things.
At present, more than 1,800 tours guides were successfully held, most of which are available in Hebrew only, however, projects with tours offered in English, Russian, French, and Arabic are close to being ready.
Israel acknowledges the state of the current pandemic situation, which is the emergence of the omicron variant. According to the Ministry of Health, before entering Israel, vaccinated international tourists must show a form of proof within 72 to 24 hours before the flights, with the additional PCR test upon arrival. In terms of visiting the country, Israel has a digital health clarification “green pass” to help guests enter places like hotels and landmarks.