The Israeli Government announced last week that a group of 500 Jordanian workers has been approved for employment in hotels in Eilat. They will join another 400 workers who have been working there for the past year.
According to Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, “The 400 workers who come into Eilat daily from Jordan to work in the hotel industry have proved the success of this project to date and their contribution to the industry. The arrival of another 500, as part of the second round, will provide significant help to the hotels, especially in advance of the holiday and summer season. This arrangement is an important contribution to the Israeli economy and to bilateral relations.”
The Interior Minister was granted the authority to allow 500 workers in the first round and to instruct, with the agreement of the Minister of Economy and in coordination with the Ministers of Tourism and Finance, allocations of additional rounds, up to a total of 1500 workers.
There are about 12,000 hotel rooms in Eilat, and thousands of workers are required to cover positions in cleaning, dishwashing and room service - in particular in the absence of an urban environment that would allow for the recruitment of such staff. Over the years, several short-term solutions have been used to solve this problem of providing workers for the hotel industry in the resort.
According to Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, “Eilat is the tourist resort with the highest number of tourist nights in Israel and the need for workers in the hotel industry is growing as the summer season approaches. The quality of the tourism experience and the service in Eilat hotels is critical to the future of tourism in the city, where most Eilat residents work in the industry. These are day workers who leave Israel at the end of the working day and this also serves to promote the relations between Israel and Jordan.”