We caught up with Gal Mor, co-founder of Abraham Hostels and Tours and new member of WYSE Travel Confederation. Gal shared some background with us about how one of the coolest hostels in Israel came to be and what’s in store for the future.
Driven by their success in Jerusalem, the five partners have already brought the spirit and services of Abraham Hostels to Tel Aviv and Nazareth and are planning to reach out to the rest of Israel and cities throughout the region. They look forward to offering true hospitality and bringing more and more people together, helping them fully experience all that the region has to offer.
How did your business get started?
Six years ago there were very few of us in Israel that were seriously involved in the backpacker and hostel industry. Luckily Maoz Inon,Yaron Burgin and I shared the same vision of opening a hostel that would function as a one-stop all-inclusive hub for travellers in hopes of making Israel a destination for independent backpackers, stimulating the local economy and revealing the reality and value of this region to the world! We were lucky to find two veteran nomads; Nitzan Kimchi and Dror Tishler who had the courage to invest in us and join us for the ride.
What are your unique selling points? What makes you different?
Without a doubt, what makes us stand out locally and I would dare say on a global level, is our ability to deliver amazing culturally rich hostel experiences together with fantastic regional tours under our own brand and super high standards of customer service. On a local country level, we’re the only ones offering three amazing unique locations (Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Nazareth), with a free daily shuttle connecting the three.
What are some of your success stories?
A rich inventory of weekly cultural events such as concerts, culinary workshops, parties, sports events screenings, local holiday celebrations and much more, has not only won us popularity amongst our guests, but also branded us as a leading cultural institute for the locals. This allows our visiting foreign guests to rub elbows not just with each other, but also with cool locals, consequently enriching their travel experiences. I feel that the fact that we’re five happy functioning partners is also a rare success story these days. Last but not least, our tours company, Abraham Tours (which I proudly manage), has become an attraction of its own drawing over 50% of its customers from outside of our hostels.
What are your future plans?
We originally set out to become a regional Middle East hostel chain. Sadly this is currently unattainable because of the unfortunate condition of our greater region. Having said that, our tours company, Abraham Tours, is achieving regional success through the amazing tours we offer throughout Israel, The Palestinian Territories, Jordan and Egypt, allowing travellers to experience us as a region and not just as a single country destination. If in the future the situation in the Middle East doesn’t improve, we might consider expanding to other countries and regions of the world.
Which trends and challenges do you see in the youth travel sector?
With the accelerated rise of the hostel industry, more and more hotel brands are attempting to provide a similar social experience with a funky urban vibe and design. They have an advantage of not having to deal with the complicated perception of hostels as being cheap and dirty places for backpackers and bums. On the one hand this re-enforces the trend of more and more travellers shifting to social travel, yet poses a challenge where more and more players attempt to enter the market.
What was your motivation to join WYSE Travel Confederation?
We want to grow our professional community. We also resonate with WYSE as we have similar values on a professional level.
Any top tips for people starting off in the youth travel sector?
Experience is very important, so strive to provide the best well-rounded experience. Stay connected to your needs, interests, and motivations. Don’t lose touch with who you are. Focusing on what you enjoy. Whether it be hospitality, accommodations, experiences, get involved and stick to what excites you most.
We are happy to let you know that Gal will be speaking at WYSTC 2016 in Belgrade. Join his workshop “Monetizing the Synergistic Magic of Hostels and Tours”. You can register for WYSTC 2016 at our conference website.
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