In this interview with Amir Katz, we cover a broad range of topics starting from his upbringing in the States, his Israeli roots and how he found his way to Israel, the importance of building relationships with guests as well as the challenge of being emotionally present while on tour. In addition, we talked about guiding the Arab-Israeli conflict, educational tourism, and Christian pilgrimage tourism. Amir shared with us his latest tourist initiatives – from a wine tour app in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, to group wine tasting tours and a wellness tourism project with his wife and yoga instructor Devra Katz. To learn more about Amir and these projects, please check out his website My Israel Wine Tours (https://myisraelwinetours.com/)
For this episode, I drove down to Jerusalem to interview licensed tour Guide Peter Gokhvat, who has been camped out and on hunger strike across from the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) and the Finance Ministry for over 40 days. Soft-spoken and humble, Peter discussed his upbringing, immigration to Israel from the former Soviet Union and laid out the demands that tour guides have regarding the current coronavirus crisis and the need for a clear, government-backed, exit strategy. He also brought us up to date on his recent meeting with the Minister of Tourism and other Members of Parliament (42 in all) who have visited the protest encampment and the steps that the government is taking to address the crisis.