British youth group tours to Israel next year will cost the same as this year — after UJIA stepped in to cap the costs of the trips in response to the recession.
Some groups said this week that they would have had to increase their prices by anything up to 25 per cent, which they acknowledge would have taken the Israel Experience tour out of reach of many families.
The trips next year will remain at around £2,400-£2,500, the same as those of 2008. However, all the groups have cut their trips by up to three days, though none will be less than 25 days long.
Doug Krikler, UJIA’s chief executive, said: “As a result of the youth groups forging an unprecedented agreement to work together, we have been able to negotiate very strongly with all the suppliers in Israel to achieve land cost savings across the board, relative to this summer.”
UJIA has also offered to bear the cost of currency fluctuations between the pound and the dollar (services in Israel are paid for in dollars), otherwise the youth groups would have had to pass it on to participants.
UJIA’s bursary fund has been increased to make sure that the numbers going to Israel next year will be consistent with those in the past, typically between 1,200 and 1,300, which equates to about 50 per cent of the Jewish youth population.
It is also in line with the charity’s philosophy that no child will be prevented from Israel tours through inability to pay.
-2008: Six tours, 190 participants, 28 days long. Cost: £2,442
-2009: Anticipate a similar number of tours and participants, 25 days long. Anticipated increase prior to UJIA involvement: 15-20 per cent. Actual cost: £2,400.
-2008: Four tours, 140-150 participants, 28 days long. Cost: £2,447.
-2009: Anticipate similar number of tours and participants, 25 days long. Anticipated increase: Up to 25 per cent. Actual cost: £2,447.
-2008: One tour, 29 participants, 31 days long. Cost: £2,400
-2009: One tour, similar number of participants, 26 days long. Anticipated increase: 16 per cent. Actual cost: £2,400.
-2008: Two tours, 78 participants, 30 days long. Cost: £2,392.
-2009: Two tours, similar number of participants, 27 days. Anticipated increase: 10-15 per cent. Actual cost: £2,392.