The Constitution, Law and Justice Committee approved on Wednesday regulations stating that hotels which advertise a misleading ”star rating” that does not accurately reflect the hotel’s status according to the Tourism Ministry, or do not advertise their rates according to regulations, would be fined with up to 18,000 NIS.

The new hotel rankings, determined by the Ministry of Tourism, were published over the past couple of months and are not mandatory. Out of the hundreds of hotels operating in Israel, only 25 hotels and the ”Isrotel” hotel chain asked to be included in the ministry`s ratings.

Justice Committee: Hotels that advertise a misleading star ranking to be fined up to NIS 18,000

Constitution, Law and Justice Committee (archives)

The Ministers of Justice and Tourism asked the committee to regulate administrative fines for offenses regarding hotel rankings and rates.

The Minister of Tourism wrote in his submission that no sanctions were set, and so, there is a great difficulty in enforcing the regulations and they are ignored.

The committee approved the fine that will be imposed on any hotel that violates the following regulations:

One shall not include in a commercial for a hotel in Israel a star-based ranking for the hotel that was not determined by the regulations. In addition, one shall not advertise misleading information regarding service, or additional service, provided at the hotel and its prices. The fine for these offenses is set at NIS 3,000.

A hotel that was ranked, will not advertise itself as if it was not ranked. A hotel will publicize and present, in a visible fashion, and

in clear digits, the price for its services; including taxes, toll, and mandatory fees, as well as any other payment the customers are forced to pay. The price for foreign tourists, if included, is to be presented after reduction of the tax exemptions for tourists, while specifically, clearly, and visibly stating that those prices are for tourists only in any place they are presented.

The prices of additional services given at the hotel are to be shown in any room and/or place they are provided. In addition, the food and beverage menu and the price for every item will be presented wherever these items are provided. The fine for violating these regulations is set at NIS 2,000.

The regulations also determine that the fine for a repeated violation will be twice the amount of the basic fine, and if the offense was made by a corporation it will be three times that of the basic fine. Since most hotels today are corporations, we may view the amount of the fines as NIS 6,000 and NIS 9,000.

Attorney Elie Lifshitz, who represented of the Ministry of Tourism`s legal advisor, told the committee that there are in fact hotels that advertise themselves as if they were ranked by the ministry, or with a higher ranking than they received.

The regulations are set to take effect a month after their publication.