The Abraham Group’s vision is to build and develop an efficient, profitable, and financially sound tourism company and, simultaneously, build influence and encourage positive change in the environment and society where we act by advancing the values that are important to us. Our influence on stakeholders is created and strengthened through our business activity, and we believe that the more our business grows, the more influence we will have.
Moral and social choice creates meaning for employees, customers, and suppliers, makes Abraham more resilient and capable of surviving crises, and creates the ability to make a change while strengthening the company and increasing profitability.
Indeed, within 10 years, the Abraham Group has evolved from a small company of 20 employees into a large company employing hundreds of people, hosting tens of thousands of tourists, and interacting with hundreds of small businesses. A company operating in the world of tourism, effecting considerable influence while combining business, environmental, and community activity.
The partnership with Bridges Impact Foundation Israel has given the Abraham Group exposure to worldwide trends in the impact area, and the United Nations’ SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). The impact model we have developed is a natural continuation of the group’s activity, in accordance with the principles of the Sustainable Responsible Tourism model; trying to deal with global and local crises through channels of influence in areas such as the environment, the economy, society, and employees.
Why do we see tourism as an effective engine for positive change of trends that lead to crises?
What is sustainable and responsible tourism?
The World Tourism Organization has defined the term ‘sustainable tourism’ as follows: “Tourism that considers the economic, social and environmental impacts at present and in the future, and understands the needs of the tourists, the tourism industry, and the hosting communities.”
In 2015, a historic agreement was signed between world leaders at the U.N. Convention, which placed sustainable development on the world’s agenda for 2030. As part of this agreement, all nations have undertaken to set a list of 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) designed to lead to a better future for all. The agenda offers a working global framework for eradicating extreme poverty, war on inequality and injustice, and a remedy for climate issues by 2030.
These 17 objectives, together with 169 corresponding objectives defined previously, offer the world a new direction. The tourism industry can and must play a significant role in advocating sustainable solutions for humans and the earth, for prosperity and peace.
The tourism industry has become an economic superpower. It is, at present, the third- largest industry in the world from the aspects of income from export, representing 10% of world GDP, 30% export of services, and one out of every ten jobs in the world. As such, tourism has the potential to affect, whether directly or indirectly, all goals of sustainable development. More specifically, tourism has been included as objective 8, section 8.9: “Until 2030, to plan and assimilate a policy for the advancement of sustainable tourism that creates jobs, promotes local culture, and locally made products.”
What is our model of influence?
Impact model principles:
Our impact model:
In addition to serving as lodgings for tourists, the hostels are also home to many different artists and artisans who appear there daily – including shows, dozens of plastic arts exhibitions, design fairs, cuisine, and music emphasizing multiculturalism and promotion of tolerance. Also, the hostels’ daily tours are purposely designed to create unmediated engagement between people of different backgrounds, cultures, and religions. Tens of thousands of tourists are taken each year on tours of the marketplace surrounding the Fauzi Azar Hostel in Nazareth, double narrative tours in Hebron and area surrounding the Gaza Strip, and trips to Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. The overarching goal of the meetings, tours, and cultural activity at the hostels is to promote tolerance, assist in neutralizing prejudices, and build new bridges between people and communities.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.”
Mark Twain – The Innocents Abroad
An example of how the model works in our hostel in Nazareth can be found in the link here
We at the Abraham Group favor the spreading of economic wealth and, therefore, promote tourism, emphasizing advancing small and medium-sized businesses. For example, as opposed to the model encouraging tourists to spend money in the hotel, we encourage them to frequent the businesses around the hotel, thus creating collaboration and empowering local businesses. The Abraham Group places such emphasis on the company’s procurement as well, applying a local suppliers’ preference policy.
Abraham’s impact on small businesses was very much felt during the COVID-19 crisis. Globes financial newspaper covered this impact in an extensive article.
For us, it is important to be a fair employer concerned with advancing its employees, as they are our company’s main asset. In our employment practices, we seek to give expression to our values as a group. Therefore, we emphasize diversity and a working environment that celebrates difference, promotes equality and subscribes to “come as you are.” In addition, in an industry in which contractor employment is commonplace, we employ our workers directly. We act to empower and strengthen them in different ways, such as fair terms of employment (above-average in the industry), courses for professional and personal development, a future profit-sharing plan, and more. For us, Abraham is a family; hence, we strive to cultivate a culture of solidarity, mainly inwards within the organization.
As a tourism company, we see paramount importance in reducing the environmental impact involved in tourism. The Abraham Group is in the advanced stages of identifying all the environmental impacts of its activity and forming a plan to reduce them and comply with the industry’s leading environmental standards. Nevertheless, we are aware that we have only just begun, and we seek ways to create positive environmental value for the entire company and for future generations.
Included here in are results for compliance with Impact objectives for 2019