TEL AVIV (Jul. 26)
Israel’s travel agents decided today to stop handling applications for visas for the British Embassy here in protest against the refusal by the British Government to ease application procedures for Israelis traveling to Britain. The Israeli Government has requested Britain to eliminate the visa requirement for Israeli citizens. British subjects do not require visas to visit Israel.
The travel agents charged that they were unable to do their jobs in processing visa requests for Britain in view of the “bureaucratic and illogical formalities and, still worse, the degrading investigation of applicants.” They urged the Foreign Ministry to expedite efforts to attain reciprocity of visa regulations.
According to the Israeli travel agents, about 25,000 Israeli tourists were expected to visit Britain this year. Each tourist gets a $500 currency allowance. After announcing their protest, the agents said they were informed that Lord Geddes, chairman of the British Travel and Holiday Association, was discussing the entire contretemps with Home Office authorities in London.