Edition: English | 中文简体 | 中文繁体 Монгол
Homepage > Travel Video

Israel offers grants to Mandarin speaking guides

Reporter: Stephanie Freid 丨 CCTV.com

09-28-2016 04:39 BJT

The number of Chinese tourists heading to Israel is growing so rapidly that Israel's tourism ministry is having a tough time keeping up. There simply aren't enough Chinese language tour-guides to accommodate the visitors.

The path to Jerusalem is increasingly populated by Chinese tourists. So many that Israel’s tourism ministry is paying local Mandarin speakers to get their tour-guide licenses.

“In the field of tourguides we are nearing the limit of our current capacity. I can - certainly I can say I don’t - there will not be any situation where a group wants to come and there is no guide. This is something that won’t happen," said Israel Tourism Minister Yariv Levin.

According to tourism ministry figures, there’s been a fifty percent jump in Chinese visitors to Israel this year. By 2020, the ministry predicts China natives will be among the top five nationalities visiting Israel.

To foster the influx, a new, 10-year-multiple entry visa policy for Chinese citizens has been implemented and airlines operate six direct Beijing-Tel Aviv flights per week. Chinese hoteliers with an eye on building chains in Israel are being offered incentives.

And top chefs are flown in to teach Israelis how to please the Chinese palate. The first Mandarin guide graduates will take to tour buses this Fall.

Su, a Beijing based guide working in Israel for years, is noticing the difference.

“Everybody, almost, can say “Nee How” - “hello” - in Chinese. And even some receptionists - they ask me to teach them more in Chinese," Su said.

China Tourism Administration statistics show: outbound travelers usually head to neighboring Asian countries. The Israeli government wants to put Israel on the itinerary radar when holiday planning times comes around. 

Another major reason to keep China’s travelers to Israel happy: Spending power. The only group that spends more than Chinese tourists when they’re traveling in Israel is Ultra-Orthodox Jews.

Follow us on

  • Please scan the QR Code to follow us on Instagram

  • Please scan the QR Code to follow us on Wechat