IDB's Tzabar Travel Agency Behind in Payments, and Despite Promises, Suppliers Demand Cash Up Front

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The Tzabar travel and tourism agency, part of Nochi Dankner's IDB group, has failed to pay hundreds of thousands of shekels on time to a number of suppliers, including hotel chains and Arkia Israel Airlines. As a result, the travel service suppliers are demanding that Tzabar make payment in cash before it processes orders from the company.

Tzabar is a few months in arrears in payment to Arkia, and Prima Hotels, which has 10 locations around the country, is waiting for payment on more than NIS 200,000 worth of hotel stays that took place in August. Tzabar's comptroller approached the hotel chain over the arrearage and came to an agreement on a payment schedule, but even some of those payments purportedly haven't been paid on time and as a result, Prima is said to have stopped doing business with the travel agency. Tzabar has also delayed payment to the Isrotel hotel chain in recent months. In that instance the hotel chain agreed to accept Israir airlines tickets to Paris in place of monetary payment.

But Tzabar responded: "All of the suppliers are receiving their money and will receive the funds to the last shekel. We do not conduct negotiations with the suppliers via the newspaper."

Tzabar has lost millions of shekels for the IDB group and as a result has shut down all of its sales branches, although it still takes orders by phone and through its website. The travel firm has also maintained a special department that has organized events for major companies, including conferences and junkets. Although that department has racked up less debt than the agency as a whole, payment of that debt, too, amounting to tens of thousands of shekels, has been delayed.

Keren Alouf, who owns a company that represents performers and public speakers, says she has been waiting for payment from Tzabar of NIS 34,000 that was due in November. "We arranged several lectures at a conference for Knesset employees that took place in September," she said. "The terms of the payment were the current month plus 60 days but we didn't receive the funds in November despite phone calls, and inquiries to the company were not answered."

Alouf said she went to the offices of IDB Tourism, of which Tzabar is a part. "The chief financial officer told me she doesn't know me and I won't get money from her and I should leave," she said.

The Adama Dance Project's Nir Ben-Gal, who conducted a seminar at the same Knesset conference, said Tzabar also failed to pay him on time and as a result he ironed out a payment schedule for his fee over a five-month period.

Embattled tycoon Nochi Dankner.Credit: David Bachar