JERUSALEM (Sep. 4)
Israel’s Ministry of Commerce is cracking down on questionable practices by businesses catering to tourists which have brought many complaints from foreign visitors. The purpose is to bring Israel’s tourist industry, which is enjoying an unprecedented boom this year, into line with accepted international standards.
The ministry disclosed that it has instituted proceedings against more than 400 restaurants, hotels and shops since the beginning of this year. They are based on customer complaints of poor quality, high prices, wrong weights and mislabeling. The Ministry of Tourism meanwhile, announced that it was investigating alleged kickbacks to Government-licensed tourist guides who bring their tour parties to certain favored shops only. The practice is common throughout the Middle East and in many other parts of the world. But the ministry disapproves because tourists are not necessarily taken to establishments where they get the best value for their money.