April 15th 2015
Israel takes tour guide licensing very seriously. Before they can get licensed, tours guides in Israel are required to attend close to 600 hours of lectures, to participate in 80 field trips and to pass the written and oral exams administered by the Ministry of Tourism.
These are just the minimum requirements for governmental certification. At Shalom Israel Tours, we look for personal attributes that make a well-educated tour guide into a great tour guide. The excellent reviews we consistently receive on Trip Advisor indicate that our clients especially appreciate these five attributes that make a tour guide great.
Considering that tour guides visit the same sites over and over, it’s a real gift to be able to exhibit palpable enthusiasm for the sites they are bringing visitors to see for the first time. Our guides love to share the Land of Israel, and this passion comes across in their enthusiastic guiding.
Sometimes, due to extenuating circumstances, such as unanticipated traffic, overcrowding or an unexpected closure
at a site, plans must be changed at the last minute. A great tour guide is flexible and always has an alternative up the sleeve. So if Plan A doesn’t work out, you won’t be left without something meaningful, if slightly altered, to do. Similarly, our great guides have the flexibility to focus on topics and sites that will engage the children in the group when appropriate without leaving the adult travelers unattended.
Although we offer day tours, plenty of our clients come for extended stays of one, two or more weeks. Spending that much time with a tour guide, it really helps when the tour guide has a sense of humor. Many of our tour guides are experts in pointing our the humor in the zany things that can happen on a tour of Israel – like watching an argument between a camel and a cab driver, for example.
Some of our guides are native Israelis who speak excellent English, and some are immigrants from the US or other English-speaking lands. In all cases, they live in Israel and offer a local perspective, sharing small incidents from their daily lives that help you feel like more like a local than a tourist.
Finally, should you need to make changes to your itinerary, in advance or on the fly, for any reason, you’ll find that our excellent tour guides exhibit a supreme degree of responsiveness to your needs.
There are many tour guides who are capable of showing people around Israel’s various sites and attractions, but truly great guides are like rare gems. Make sure that when you head this way, you have access to the best.