Tourists crossing the border from Israel into Jordan are not being allowed to take items with Jewish symbols with them, states Israel Incoming Tour Operators Association director Yossi Fattal.
Fattal today sent a letter to Ministry of Tourism director general Amir Halevi and Ministry of Foreign Affairs director general Yuval Rotem, in which he wrote, "We have recently witnessed an especially grave phenomenon. Tourists reaching the Allenby border crossing on their way from Israel to Jordan are facing demands not to take into Jordan any item bearing Jewish symbols, including Jewish ritual articles and other items.
"The Jordanian argument that the decision is of a security nature is unreasonable and runs counter to common sense. This is arousing anger and disappointment among tourists who visited Israel and purchased souvenirs and gifts with Jewish symbols. The public relations damage is clear: on the one hand, the tour organizers are being blamed for not informing the groups in advance, while on the other hand, the rumor is beginning to circulate, and in the near future, we are liable to see tourists refraining from buying souvenirs in Israel.
"We request very urgent intervention to obtain official clarification of whether the Jordanian authorities have issued an official decision and instruction. If this is the case, similar measures should immediately be considered for tourists crossing from Jordan into Israel. Cooperation between the countries in tourism is yielding economic benefits to both countries, especially Jordan." Fattal asked Halevi and Rotem to act "with very great urgency."
Israel Airports Authority figures show that 462,000 people crossed the border with Jordan in both directions in 2018, compared with 390,000 in 2017. Figures from the Population and Immigration Authority show that 52,000 of those crossing in 2018 were Israelis.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on June 19, 2019
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