I am proud that my business became a catalyst for the local community's economy.
Maoz Inon -“After years of backpacking and hiking with my wife – in Israel and around the world, I decided to open a guesthouse that aside from being a tourism business, will affect the community that surrounds it. That’s how Fauzi Azar Inn in Nazareth began.
“My vision combined two great aspirations: to improve the Jewish-Arab relationship while developing backpackers’ independent tourism in Israel. We began with a 15 room small guesthouse in the Old City of Nazareth, a part of the city that was usually framed as a ‘not to visit’ area by most of the guide books.
“In less than 10 years, Fauzi became successful beyond any imagination, achieving both initial aspirations. You could see how slowly but surely, local tourism entrepreneurship started to flourish. Fauzi became, in a way, a catalyst for the local community’s economy. By the way, it worked just the same with Abraham Hostel in Jerusalem, where I am one of the five proud partners.
“We decided that the concept of tourism businesses that thrive alongside the local community should be spread out throughout Israel. Yaron Burgin and I initiated the ILH- Israel hostels organization. We are now a network of over 30 quality-assured independent hostels in Israel, from the Red Sea in the south to the Golan Heights in the north. We enable independent travelers to get the most that they can out of their vacations in Israel, while setting firm accommodation standards and focusing on independent travelers’ needs. We also conduct workshops for new hosteliers and independent tourism entrepreneurs.
“Being a tourism entrepreneur, especially in Israel, is almost a non-rational decision to make. And yet, with all the difficulties involved, I love it, and I enjoy the great satisfaction of owning a business that thrives together with the community surrounding it.”