Security

The Current Security Situation (Updated October 23, 2015).

All access roads and sites are open. There are thousands of tourists at the sites and walking the streets without any major concerns. Over the past several days, security has been beefed up all around the country, and these 'random acts' are gradually subsiding.
 
It's pretty well business as usual here, despite what you might be reading or seeing in the news. We'll admit that the international coverage seem disconcerting, but the true reality on the ground truly speaks otherwise. 
 
Our CEO, Eitan Chamberlin, has been traveling with a group in Jerusalem and throughout the West Bank over the past 10 days, and has experienced nothing but calm. We have more groups on the ground over the coming weeks, and have not received any cancellations by groups or members through the end of the year.
 
Still, we will continue to monitor the situation closely and do what we do best: ensure your safety and client funds to the highest standard. The political climate has always been volatile in this region for thousands of years. It is unlikely to change anytime soon, and that's what makes traveling here so interesting, yet safe, especially for tourists who (thank G-d!) have never been a target for terrorism. If, however, we feel that there is a situation that would cause a major impact to our schedule, we will augment the schedule with new sites or hotel locations or, in the case of a worsening situation, fully enact our Force Majeure policy.
 

Your security is our #1 priority.

In recent years, Samson Tours has taken more proactive steps to secure its clients physical well-being and financial protection more than any other company in Holy Land travel. During both Operation Cast Lead (Fall, 2012) and Operation Protective Edge (Summer, 2014), we proved to our clients that we can postpone outbound tours at the very last minute and still refund 99% of their non-insured travel funds by invoking Force Majeure.

Israel hosts approximately 3.5 million tourists a year and tourism is expected to grow to nearly 5 million tourists over the next five years. Still, despite Israel's positive record for safety of its tourists, we know you want assurances.

Let us tell you how we handle situations on the ground in Israel.

  1. We educate our clients to help them understand that Israel (as hard as it may be to believe!) is one of the safest countries in the world, with the highest security standards. Not a single terrorist attack has ever been carried out against an organized travel group in Israel.
  2. Our guides and drivers receive SMS notifications if troubles arise and know how to stay clear of problematic areas.
  3. Our guides and drivers are highly trained in security and medical emergencies, should the need arise.
  4. All of our buses are equipped with free WIFI internet, which allows you to keep in contact with your loved ones in the even that there is a sudden change to our schedule and to ensure your safety at all times.
  5. No suitcase gets placed in the luggage compartments of our buses until you have personally identified them.
  6. While touring on the ground, our secured buses remain locked at all times and/or under the driver's supervision.
  7. No-one who is not a part of the group may enter the bus at any time without the guide or tour leader's explicit permission.
  8. As a member of the Israel Incoming Tour Operators Association, our understanding with the hotels, sites and Ministry of Tourism, during such time of instabilities in different parts of the country, allow us the flexibility to move the group to an alternative hotel or equal-valued site in a more safe zone should the need arise. In times of crisis, Israel becomes one and we make sure that the tour goes on smoothly and safely.
  9. If Samson Tours, its tour leader or the Israeli Government decides to postpone the tour due to political instability, and if you are unable to attend those new dates, then we will refund ALL amounts refunded to us by our suppliers (with exception credit card fees, which are non-refundable to merchants). The deposit and credit card fees paid, however, can be applied to any future travel or tour with us. This force majeure policy overrides any of our other refund policies for travelers who are not equipped with travel insurance.

 

Let us tell you how we secure your funds.

  1. We use highly sophisticated, SSL technology to secure all of our payment pages, registration pages, My Account and contact pages.
  2. We do not store your credit card information in any of our own databases or in hard copy anywhere. When making payments, you will need to re-enter your card information each time. It's the safest way all-around.
  3. Whenever you make a payment, we transfer your funds to our GROUP ESCROW ACCOUNT. With exception of your airline deposit, no funds are payed out to any suppliers until approximately one month prior to departure and are also backed by industry-standard Force Majeure policies.