Should Warmongering Win over Peace - Even in Tourism?

By Fred Schlomka - 

Shocking News! Green Olive Tours has dropped to number 2 on TripAdvisor, the world’s most widely read travel website. Who has beaten us? You’ll need to take a seat while you digest this.

Caliber 3, an Israeli shooting range that describes itself as a “Counter Terror and Security Academy”, has taken the lead in Trip Advisor with only 53 reviews, 52 of them are 5-star. Green Olive on the other hand has 438 reviews, including 387 5-star reviews. I suspect that Trip Advisor’s ranking system is based on the percentage of 5-star reviews.

It’s also ironic that a facility that is based in the heart of the Gush Etzion settlement bloc, and is dedicated to equipping Israelis with world class training to assist in maintaining the Occupation, is defined in the digital world as the most successful tourist activity in the Palestinian Territories.

So here’s what I would like you to do, if you have taking a tour with Green Olive, and have not yet reviewed our work, then head over to Trip Advisor and write a 5-star review. We need to depose these usurpers and become number one again. Go to this link. 

Now TripAdvisor will likely be a bit suspicious about so many new reviews in a short period of time. So let’s be completely honest. Please don’t write a tour review unless you have actually taken a tour.

I took a trip to visit Caliber 3. It’s in an industrial zone just off route 60, south of the large settlement of Efrata. As I entered their facility I could heard the ‘pop pop’ of small arms fire. I introduced myself to the folks at the office and as soon as they heard I was representing a tour company I has handed off to Danny, a polite young man with a kippa (yarmulke) who gave me an in-depth tour of the facility.

He explained that the facility basically gives tourists a chance to shoot military weapons and learn the basics of Krav Maga, the Israel hybrid martial art. There is also professional training in weapons and combat arts, and multi-day survival programs.

While I was there a group of American families were getting instruction with a specially modified Uzi. Danny explained that beginners are only allowed to shoot .22 caliber guns, and the instruction was one-on-one. In other words each person had an instructor next to them. That way there were no accidents.

I peeked in the gym where a few men were being shown the rudiments of taking down an attacker who had a knife.

This is certainly not the kind of place that should be showcased on Trip Advisor. Again - if you have taken a tour then scoot over to the Green Olive Trip Advisor page at this link and post a 5-star review. Let’s take back the number one position.

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3 comments:

  1. Dear Fred Schlomka,
    Badmouthing a competitor is not a way to win back lost credit with TripAdvisor
    J. Mati Bloch

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Mati -
      I am not so sure my reaction can be portrayed as 'badmouthing', and i think the vast majority of our clients agree. Since the article was published they went to TripAdvisor to rave about the tours they took with us and we have regained our #1 position.

      Competition is great! Healthy competition helps develop any industry. However I find it distasteful that citizens of Israel, an Occupying power, should set up a Shooting range next to villages of Occupied Palestinians and then invite tourists, as if it was a kind of a War Disneyland.

      Imagine if the US did the same thing in Iraq, and some former Seals set up a similar operation there.

      Delete
  2. It's very sad to see this. It is companies like yours that make a difference and they should be recognized accordingly. I hope that tripadvisor changes their misleading ranking!

    ReplyDelete

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