Abraham Hostel Jerusalem is Maoz Inon’s latest endeavor in a string of initiatives to revolutionize the world of independent backpacking in Israel and the Middle East region.
Born on a kibbutz in the Negev Desert, Maoz spent a year backpacking around the world when he was 22, and it was then that he discovered the power of the hostel to bring all kinds of people together and stimulate an area’s local economy. At 28, he embarked on the Israel Trail and was inspired to bring this world of the independent backpacker to his home country.
In 2005 Maoz opened his first hostel and the first guest house in Nazareth, Fauzi Azar Inn. He received international praise for bringing a new model for travel to Israel and sparking Nazareth’s resurgence as a destination for travelers. In 2000 the Lonely Planet called Nazareth a city to “avoid,” while in 2011 former British Prime Minister Tony Blair came to visit Nazareth and the Fauzi Azar while in Israel, a sign of the city’s much-improved status among foreigners.
Following Fauzi, Maoz and his American friend David Landis went on to develop the Jesus Trail, a walking trail through the northern region of Israel. The project was intended to stimulate and support the local economy in smaller, out-of-the-way Israeli towns and also bridge cultural gaps by trekking through currently and historically significant sites for Christians, Jews & Muslims. This project was also noted by international media as a positive development for Israeli tourism.
In 2006 Maoz met Yaron Burgin, who was staying as a guest at Fauzi Azar. After talking and brainstorming, the two proceeded to create ILH – Israel Hostels, a network of Israeli hostels with high standards of cleanliness, true backpackers’ vibes, affordable prices and “more than a bed to sleep in.”
It became clear that Jerusalem needed an ILH-style hostel, and Maoz teamed up with Gal, Dror, Nitzan, and Yaron, to create it. The five opened their dream hostel in the city center of Jerusalem, and Maoz saw his dream for Israel and the Middle East realized one step further.
Maoz believes strongly that backpackers are setting the trends for global tourism in the next 15 years. He is convinced that the Middle East Region can be the next big global destination and is driven to change the international view of this beautiful part of the world that he calls home. Maoz lives in Binyamina with his wife, two sons, and daughter.