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TOURISM SERVICES LAW, 5736-1976

Chapter One: Interpretation

1.       Definitions (Amendment, 5747-1987, 5759-1999)

In this law

"Hotel" includes a boarding house, rest house, guest house and any other establishment that provides or offers to provide lodging services, for a consideration, for nine or more persons simultaneously;

"This law" includes regulations enacted thereunder;

"Camping site" means an area prepared for lodging in field conditions, which provides or offers to provide lodging services, for a consideration, for nine persons or more simultaneously;

"Sightseeing trip" whether or not on a fixed route, including an excursion and excluding the transportation of passengers from place to place on a fixed travel route, and organization of a sightseeing trip includes conducting a sightseeing tour and an offer or consent to conduct a sightseeing trip;

"Travel agency services" means one of the following:

(1)           Organization and sale of a sightseeing trip in Israel or to foreign countries or booking services for the purposes of a sightseeing trip as aforesaid;

(2)           Reservation and sale of travel tickets or travel vouchers to foreign countries, excluding reservation or sale as aforesaid, even if it includes booking hotel accommodations that is directly carried out by an airline;

(3)           Reservation of hotel accommodations in Israel or abroad;

(4)           Handling the obtaining of entry visas, visas for a temporary stay and exit visas, for the purposes of sightseeing trips or travel as aforesaid;

(5)           Provision of professional consulting in any matter stated in paragraphs (1) to (4);

The Minister means the Minister of Tourism;

"Foreign tourist" means a person entering and staying in Israel under a visitors permit of residence or permit of transitory residence, within their meaning in the Entry into Israel Law, 5712-1952, or under an order or permit issued by virtue of section 17 of said law.

Chapter Two: Regulation of Tourist Services

 

2.         Tourist Services What Are They (Amendment, 5747-1987, 5758-1998, 5759-1999)

            Tourist services include the following:

(1)           A hotel, including any service provided therein and any business situated within its precincts and intended mainly for its guests;

(1a)   (Repealed);

(2)           A camping site;

(3)           (Repealed);

(4)           (Repealed);

(5)           Tour guide services provided for consideration or provided by a person transporting passengers for consideration or a person joining or accompanying a group of foreign tourists, on each of the following:

(a) On a sightseeing trip;

(b)At a site or institution of interest for foreign tourists, except tour guiding within the precincts of an institution provided on its behalf;

(6)           Regularly conducting the business of organizing conferences, seminars, symposiums and study groups in which foreign tourists mainly participate, including engaging in the business of interpreting services for the same;

(7)           (Repealed).

3.        Regulation of Tourist Services (Amendment, 5747-1987, 5759-1999)

The Minister may, with the approval of the Knessets Economics Committee, regulate by regulations the activity and modes of operation of a tourist service and, inter alia, prescribe -

(1)           Requirements and tests for

(a)         The licensing of tourist services, except hotels and camping sites;

(b)         The classification of tourist services;

(2)           Appropriate arrangements and facilities for persons using the service;

(3)           The duty of a person carrying on the business of a tourist service to insure, in the manner to be prescribed, the persons using the service and their property;

(4)           Provisions as to the advertising of tourist services;

(5)           Fees for licensing or any other activity by virtue of this Law.

3a.   (Repealed)

4.        Provisions of Services through Professionals (Amendment, 5748-1988, 5759-1999)

(a)     The Minister may prescribe in regulations

 (1) The duty of providing a particular tourist service through qualified professionals;

 (2) In consultation with the Minister of Labor, rules as to the training and qualifications of tour guides and hotel managers, as defined in the regulations.

(b)     Where legislation grants the Minister of Labor power to regulate the training and qualifications of tourist professions and the supervision thereof, the Minister of Labor shall exercise that power after consultation with the Minister of Tourism; the duty of consultation shall not apply to powers under the Apprenticeship Law, 5713-1953, except in respect to programs for examinations held thereunder.

5.             Prescribing and Advertising of Prices (Amendment: 5758-1998)

          The Minister may, with the approval of the Knesset's Economics Committee, prescribe regulations

(1)           (Repealed).

(2)           Minimum prices for tour guide services;

(3)           The duty of displaying prices, modes of displaying and advertising them.

6.             Prohibition to Refuse or Stipulate the Provision of Services

          A person carrying on a tourist service shall not unreasonably refuse to provide a service within the scope of his business or attach to the provision thereof conditions not permitted under regulations.

7.   (Repealed) (Amendment: 5759-1999)

8.   (Repealed) (Amendment: 5758-1998)

9.   (Repealed) (Amendment: 5758-1998)

10.   Approved Tourist Business

          The Minister may, in the manner prescribed in regulations, confer upon any tourist services, as well as upon other undertakings and services at their request, the title, designation or emblem of an approved business for foreign tourists or some other similar title; and he may regulate the manner of using the title, designation or emblem so conferred and the modes of canceling them.

11.   Supplementary Powers

(a)     The Minister may prohibit, require, restrict, impose supervision on or grant exemption from any matter he is authorized to regulate under this Law, and he may do so either generally or according to classes, grades or branch establishments of tourist services.

(b)     The Minister may enact any supplementary or subsidiary provision required for the exercise of his powers under this Law, includes modes of enforcing provisions as aforesaid.

12.     Powers in Respect of Licenses

(a)      A person competent to issue a license or other document (both hereinafter referred to as a License) under this Law may refuse to issue or renew it or subject its issue to preconditions or attach conditions to it; and he may cancel or vary it or vary conditions prescribed in respect of it in any one of the following cases:

(1)      The circumstances under which the License was issued have changed;

(2)      The provisions of this Law or conditions prescribed thereunder have been infringed;

(3)      Any act or omission of the licensee in a matter relating to tourist services disqualifies him, in the opinion of the Minister, for a License issued to him or for a class or grade to which he has been assigned;

(4)      The licensee has been convicted of a flagrant offense or a violation of an enactment relating to his business.

(5)      It has been proven to the Minister that the licensee has not met or will not be able to meet his obligations towards customers or suppliers within the scope of his business.

(b)     A decision under this section may be limited or unlimited in time or may come into force upon the licensee failing to fulfill a condition attached to it.

(c)     Where a License is revoked or a grade denied other than by the Minister, the licensee may lodge an objection with the relevant minister and at the time prescribed in the regulations.

(d)     A License shall not be revoked unless the licensee has been given a reasonable opportunity to be heard.

(e)     Where a tourist service requires licensing both under this Law and under the Business Licensing Law, 5728-1968, it shall not be licensed hereunder until it has been granted a license under said law.

Chapter Two-1: Travel Agency Services Duty to Secure Customers' Moneys and Proper Disclosure

Securing of Customers' Moneys Received from Travel Agency Services

12a. (a)       A person providing any of the travel agency services, whether or not for consideration, but on a permanent basis (in this Law a travel agency services provider) must secure the moneys of customers who receive service from him (in this chapter Customers) in the event that he becomes insolvent or in other cases which the Minister has set forth, in consultation with the Minister of Finance and with the approval of the Knessets Economics Committee.

          (b)   Customers moneys will be insured in one of the following:

(1)     Membership in a fund for securing customers moneys operating in accordance with section 12b;

(2)     Insurance under an insurance policy taken out by an insurer, within its definition in the Control of Insurance Businesses Law, 5741-1981 (in this chapter the Control Law); the Minister shall prescribe provisions and rules regarding the insurance, including the amounts or rates that such policy should cover.

(c)     Moneys in the fund, as stated in sub-section (b)(1), which are earmarked for insuring customers money under this section, cannot be attached, encumbered or transferred, unless the Minister has prescribed otherwise in regulations, and in the manner so prescribed.

(d)     The Minister shall prescribe provisions regarding the duty of reporting on the insurance of customers' moneys under this section and on modes of reporting.

Fund for Securing Customers' Moneys

12b. (a)      A fund for the securing of customers moneys (hereinafter the Fund) is a fund set up by an organization of travel agency service providers or another fund, that has been approved in the manner prescribed by the Minister; provisions of the Control Law shall not apply to said fund.

(b)     The Fund shall accept as a member anyone who provides travel agency services, under equal conditions, even if he is not a member of the organization of travel agency service providers that set up the Fund.

(c)     A travel agency service provider, whom the Fund has refused to admit as a member, may appeal this before the Minister, or before anyone whom the Minister has authorized for this purpose among the State employees in his ministry, within a period to be prescribed by the Minister.

(d)     The Minister, in consultation with the Minister of Finance and with the approval of the Knessets Economics Committee shall set forth procedures for the operation of the Fund, including conditions and modes for the payment of moneys from the Fund.

Duty of Proper Disclosure

12c. The Minister, after consulting with the Consumer Protection Commissioner, within his definition in the Consumer Protection Law, 5741-1981, shall prescribe in regulations the duty of travel agency services provider to disclose information pertaining to the services that he provides, and he may determine what is a substantive matter regarding section 13(e); the Minister shall set forth in these regulations the information particulars that must be disclosed, as well as means of making the information available to the public.

Financial Sanction

12d. (a)     The Minister shall appoint an employee from among the State employees in his ministry who will be in charge of imposing an economic sanction under this section (in this chapter - the Commissioner).

        (b)    (1)        Where the Commissioner has found that a person provides travel agency services, and he has reasonable grounds to assume that that same person has breached one of the duties specified hereunder, he shall notify him in writing that it was found that he provides travel agency services and that he has breached one of the duties imposed on him, and that if he fails to fulfill the duty within thirty days of receipt of the notice a financial sanction shall be imposed on him;

(a) Duty to insure the customers moneys as stated in section 12a(a) and (b);

(b) Duty of reporting as set forth under the provisions of section 12a(d);

(c) Duty to disclose information as set forth under the provision of section 12c;

(2)      Where the travel agency services provider has not fulfilled the duty within the period prescribed in paragraph (1), the Commissioner may impose on him a financial sanction at the rate specified hereunder, provided that he has been given opportunity to voice his contentions;

(a) With respect to the duty set forth in paragraph (1)(a) or (c) in the amount of the fine stated in section 61(a)(3) of the Penal Code, 5737-1977 (hereinafter - the Penal Code);

(b) With respect to the duty set forth in paragraph (1)(b) double the fine prescribed in section 61(a)(1) of the Penal Code;

(c) The Commissioner may impose on a body corporate double the financial sanction sated in sub-section (b).

(d)     (1) In the case of a continued breach, a financial sanction shall be added to the financial sanction prescribed for that offense, at a rate of one-fiftieth for every day that the breach continues.

          (2) In the case of a repeat breach, an amount equivalent to half of the aforesaid financial sanction will be added to the financial sanction that could have been imposed if it were a first breach; in this regard repeat breach means a breach of duty as stated in sub-section (b), within two years from the date the financial sanction was imposed on the first breach.

(e) A financial sanction shall be paid at the Commissioners demand within 30 days of receipt thereof.

(f) A financial sanction shall be according to its updated amount on the day of the demand for payment; where an appeal has been lodged and the court hearing the appeal has ordered to postpone payment - the financial sanction shall be according to the updated amount on the day the decision in the appeal has been rendered.

(g) Where the financial sanction has not been paid on time, linkage differences and interest shall be attached for the delinquent period pursuant to the Adjudication of Interest and Linkage Law, 5721-1961 (in this chapter linkage and interest differentials) until the payment thereof.

(h) The Tax Ordinance (Collection) shall apply to the collection of a financial sanction.

(i)     (1) A demand for payment of a financial sanction may be appealed before a magistrates court within thirty days of delivery of the demand for payment of the financial sanction.

(2) An appeal shall not delay payment of the financial sanction, unless the Commissioner or the court have ordered otherwise.

(3) Where the appeal has been allowed, the amount of the financial sanction shall be refunded plus linkage and interest differentials from the day of payment until the day the amount is refunded.

(4) The decision of the court in the appeal may be appealed with permission, and a sole judge shall hear the appeal.

(j)     (1) The provisions of this section shall not derogate from the authority of a prosecutor to file an indictment as stated in section 13 (e) if he is of the opinion that the circumstances justify this.

(2) Where an indictment is filed against a person for an offense under section 13(e), he shall not be ordered to pay a financial sanction in respect thereof, and if he has paid the amount of the sanction will be refunded to him plus linkage and interest differentials from the day of payment until the day the amount is refunded.

Commissioners Powers

12e.   To ensure the implementation of the provisions under this chapter, the powers vested in an inspector under section 19 will be vested in a  Commissioner, with respect to a person providing, to his satisfaction, travel agency services.

Chapter Three: Offenses, Prosecution and Penalties

13.      Offenses and Penalties (Amendment: 5758-1998, 5759-1999)

(a)     The following are liable to a fine of 10,000 Israeli Pounds, or, in the case of a body corporate, 40,000 Israeli Pounds;

(1)     A person who violates any regulations, rules or provisions under sections 3, 4, 10 or 29, unless the regulation, rule or provision prescribes another penalty;

(2)     A person who interferes with an inspector in the fulfillment of his functions or does not comply with his demands under section 19.

(b)     A person who operates a tourist service without a license required under section 3(1)(a) shall be liable to a fine of 20,000 Israeli Pounds or imprisonment for a term of six months or, in the case of a body corporate, to a fine of 80,000 Pounds; if he continues to operate it after receiving a warning from the person appointed for this purpose by the Minister or does not fulfill any condition prescribed therein, he shall, in addition to the penalty prescribed in this sub-section, be liable to a fine of 1,000 Israeli Pounds or imprisonment for a term of seven days in respect of every day on which the offense continues or, in the case of a body corporate, to a fine of 4,000 Israeli Pounds in respect of every day as aforesaid.

(c)      A person who knowingly makes a false statement or furnishes false particulars in reply to questions of an inspector under section 19 shall be liable to a fine of 20,000 Israeli Pounds or imprisonment for a term of six months or, in the case of a body corporate, to a fine of 80,000 Israeli Pounds.

(d)     A person who violates any provision of section 6 or any regulation made under section 5 shall incur the penalty prescribed for that kind of offense under section 39 of the Commodities and Services (Control) Law, 5718-1957.

(e)     Anyone committing one of the following shall be liable to imprisonment for a term of six months:

(1)      Does not insure customers moneys in contravention of the provisions of section 12a (a) and (b);

(2)      Does not fulfill the duty to disclose information prescribed in the provisions of section 12(c) concerning a substantive matter as set forth in those same provisions.

 

14.      Responsibility for Offense

(a)     Where an offense under this section is committed by a body of persons, every person who at the time of its commission was an active director or partner other than a limited partner of that body or a senior employee thereof responsible for the field in question shall also be charged for that offense, unless he proves that it was committed without his knowledge and that he took all reasonable measures to ensure compliance with this Law.

(b)     Where an offense under this Law is committed by an employee or agent acting within the scope of his functions, the employer or principal of the offender shall also be charged, unless he proves that it was committed without his knowledge and that he took all reasonable measures to ensure compliance with this Law.

15.       Onus of Proof

A person who alleges that he has a license under this Law shall have to prove that he does.

16.       Discontinuance of Tourist Service

(a)     Where an indictment is brought against a person who operated a tourist service without a license as required under section 3(1)(a), the Minister may order in writing the temporary discontinuance of the service, including shutting down the place in which the service is provided or offered, provided that said discontinuance shall not extend beyond sixty days from the date on which the order is issued or beyond the date of judgment, whichever is earlier. The court may, on the application of the aggrieved party, cancel the order or confirm it with or without variations. An order as aforesaid shall come into force five days after it is made unless a later date is indicated therein or it is cancelled before then.

(b)     Where a person is convicted of an offense under this Law, the court may, in addition to any penalty, order the discontinuance of his carrying on the business of a tourist service, including shutting down premises, or order any other measure it deems expedient for such discontinuance or order him to refrain, in the business in question, from any activity specified in the order for such period as it may prescribe.

(c)     A person who does not comply with an order under subsection (b) shall be liable to a fine of 100,000 Israel Pounds or imprisonment for a term of one year, or, in the case of a body corporate, to a fine of 400,000 Israeli Pounds, and to a fine of 3,000 Israeli Pounds or imprisonment for a term of fourteen days in respect of every day on which the offense continues after service of the order or, in the case of a body corporate, to a fine of 12,000 Israeli Pounds in respect of every such day as aforesaid.

(d)     A person who does not comply with an order under sub-section (a) shall be liable to a fine of 20,000 Israel Pounds or imprisonment for a term of six months, or, in the case of a body corporate, to a fine of 80,000 Israeli Pounds, and to a fine of 1,000 Israeli Pounds or imprisonment for a term of seven days in respect of every day on which the offense continues after service of the order or, in the case of a body corporate, to a fine of 4,000 Israeli Pounds in respect of every such day as aforesaid.

(e)     Where a person has been convicted under subsection (c) or (d), the court shall have all the additional powers mentioned in sub-section (b).

17.    Implementation of Order

An order under section 16(a) or (b) may direct the police or an inspector specified in the order to enter the premises in respect of which the order has been issued, and it shall be lawful to take every measure, including exercising reasonable amount of force required in the circumstances of the case, so as to ensure compliance with the provisions of the order.

18.     Saving of Laws

Nothing in this Law shall be construed as derogating from the powers of the court under the Contempt of Court Ordinance, but a person shall not bear responsibility both under this Law and under said Ordinance.

Chapter Four: Miscellaneous Provisions

19.    Powers of Inspector

An inspector who has been appointed by the Minister may, if he is convinced that it is necessary in order to ensure the implementation of this Law or to prevent an offense against its provisions -

(1)     Interrogate any person carrying on the business of a tourist service and require him to show a license under this Law and other documents and to furnish him with information and statements which may, in the opinion of the inspector, indicate that an offense under this Law has been committed;

(2)     Enter at any reasonable time any place in which tourist services are provided, inspect all equipment and facilities therein and every activity conducted therein under this Law, carry out a search therein and demand to be furnished with whatever in his opinion may indicate that an offense under this Law has been committed, provided that he shall not enter a guest's own room in a hotel when a guest is present therein.

20.      Appointments and Definition of Tasks

(a)     The Minister may, with the approval of the Knesset's Economics Committee, enact regulations regarding the appointment and definition of the tasks of any person as in his opinion may be required for the implementation of this Law.

(b)     For the purposes of this Law, the Minister may, with the approval of the Knessets Economics Committee, enact regulations as to the appointment of boards and advisory committees of representatives of the public and of State employees.

21.     Application to Health Resorts

The provisions of sections 12, 15 and 19 shall apply to a tourist service in a health resort, within its meaning in the Health Resorts Authority law, 5733-1973, and to offenses under said Law relating to a tourist service in a health resort, provided that the powers of the Minister under said sections shall be exercised with the consent of the Minister of Health and that powers under section 12 shall be exercised by a person competent to issue a license under said Law.

22.     Amendment of Planning & Building Law

In the Second Schedule to the Planning & Building Law, 5725-1965 -

(1)     In section 1, the word five shall be replaced by the word "six".

(2)     In section 2, the words and the Minister of Tourism shall appoint one representative shall be inserted after the words The Minister of Defense shall appoint one representative.

(3)     In section 7, the word five shall be replaced by the word six, and after the words "the Minister of Transportation" shall be inserted the words "the Minister of Tourism.

23.     Saving of Laws

(a)     The provisions of this Law shall not derogate from the provisions of the Antiquities Ordinance or the Antiquities (Premises) Ordinance, 1935.

(b)     The provisions of this Law are in addition to and not in derogation of the National Parks and Nature Reserves Law, 5723-1963.

24.       Implementation

The Minister is charged with the implementation of this Law and he may, with the approval of the Knesset's Economics Committee, enact regulations in addition to those referred to in this Law in any matter concerning the implementation thereof.

25.     Repeal

The Tour Guides Ordinance is hereby repealed.

26.    Commencement

This law shall come into force upon the expiration of six months from the date of its publication.