An news story aired in an Israeli morning show a while back tells the story of a special tour-guide course by the Israeli Ministry of Tourism aimed at the Chinese tourists. With hopes of increasing numbers of Chinese tourists coming to Israel, this type of preparation would hopefully make them feel more welcome.
So, here’s the video of the story, followed by my quick Hebrew to English translation.
Last week Haifa University held an impressive ceremony to mark the end of the first Israel tourguide course for Chinese. This was in preparation in what some are hoping is the upcoming “grand invasion” of Chinese tourists into Israel.
(Israel’s Prime Minister quote – “let’s start with Chinese language education”)
Until the Israeli Ministry of Education starts training Chinese language teachers in Israel, the Israeli Ministry of Tourism is already trying to boost up relations with the uprising empire from east with a group of Chinese and Israeli tour guides. The Chinese prosperity came with more openness towards the west, so that more and more Chinese are taking their vacations abroad to Europe, North America, and now also Israel. During 2007 came 10,000 Chinese tourists, with 28% rise in the following year, and the Ministry of Tourism declared another rise during 2009, especially due to business men from China combining business with pleasure. And so, the Ministry opened a new tour guide course that took 6 months where students learned what might be the major attractions for the average Chinese tourist. The participants in the course were 5 Israelis who spent some time in China with basic Mandarin skills and 25 Chinese already living in Israel.
So how can we win over the Chinese?
(An Israeli tour-guide interviewed) The Chinese are really impressed with the sea, archeology, but what they’re most impressed with is the Israeli spirit.
The average Chinese isn’t not much into Israeli cuisine. Even the national junk food of Bamba wasn’t able to make it in China, as the factory they opened in China had to close down. So what will they eat? The day opens with rice congee, continued with fried rice, followed by noodles and dumplings. At the end of the meal the Chinese want to smoke and get drunk with some strong white alcohol, 97% pure, preferably with drinking contests.
(An Israeli tour-guide interviewed) The Chinese either love the local food or they hate it. Generally, in Israel they like the Schawarma.
BTW – The image’s Hebrew title reads “Chinese tourist raid Israel”. 10,000 tourists a year! imagine that. Not that you can compare, but Hong Kong gets more than that in every hour of the day. But, always nice to see someone making an effort to bring Israel closer to China. Hopefully, the tourist crowds will follow.
I’m not sure if you/others are aware but Canada recently changed its visa requirements for Chinese tourists (from China). Vancouver,BC of course being the biggest Canadian city closest to the Pacific welcomes the news.
As a disclosure, I also occasionally write for Tourism Vancouver’s blog. (But with a focus on cycling tourism, something I doubt mainland Chinese tourists would be as interested. They probably prefer to be pampered, as a treat to themselves.) http://insidevancouver.ca/
But I am curious in general, since I am a Canadian-born Chinese.
Vancouver should do well with Chinese visitors now that we have favoured nation status. It’ll be interesting to see what Chinese tourists will really want to do and see here. I don’t think they’ll be skiing at Whistler like the Japanese do.