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Hooha! Israel’s first hotel for bikers up and running

aMany seasoned travelers are so over the one-week all-inclusive vacation packages to Cancun. New values have streamed into our consciousness: values like environmental awareness, keeping fit and getting in touch with the local culture and surroundings.

 Looking to fill the niche market of cycling holidays, the HooHa Cyclists House is the first cyclists’ hotel in Israel. Established six years ago in northern Israel, the hotel offers single rooms and dorms to accommodate up to 30 people looking to bike around Israel’s scenic Mount Tabor and Lower Galilee region.

HooHa caters to amateur and pro cyclists as well as teams.

Dror Nevo and his wife, Hadas, opened HooHa in the village of Kfar Tabor, but not because they were lacking work. The parents of two both had lucrative careers: he as a vice president in a high-tech software company, she as a veterinarian.

However, after a three-month cycling vacation in New Zealand seven years ago, they decided to turn their dream into reality: They would open a cyclist hotel. They scouted around, found a location, and a year later the doors were open and the wheels were rolling.

About 85 percent of their guests are Israelis, Dror surmises, about 60 percent of them cyclists, the rest just visitors who enjoy the location and ambience.

Dror has launched a marketing campaign to attract tourists, and  already has  a dream itinerary for a three-day ride.

“Of course it depends if they are mountain bikers or road bikers,” he explains. “Most of the people would like the Beit Keshet single track, a trail we established with the Jewish National Fund. And all the area of the Tabor River. We could end the trip in the area of the Jordan River or the Kinneret [Sea of Galilee].”

HooHa offers a range of room rates — the least expensive is comparable to a hostel, while the most expensive is more like a three-star hotel. Cycling equipment can be rented as part of a package, and it’s also possible to hire Dror as a guide.

He believes that bicycling is becoming a way of life for some Israelis, especially on the weekends: “It’s become like a culture and I hope it’s here to stay.”

The entrepreneur is already planning a cycling hotel network throughout Israel, linking it to Europe. — israel 21c

First National Hotel Makeover Winner Four Points by Sheraton Biloxi Transforms …

$50,000 in free hotel training from Signature Worldwide was a dream come true for the young Four Points hotel on the Gulf Coast of Biloxi, Mississipi. As their six months of free training comes to a close, they have seen tremendous improvements in providing good customer service, creating an excellent guest experience, and implementing sales skills such as upselling and prospecting.

Columbus, Ohio (PRWEB) May 01, 2012

Increased market share, occupancy, and guest satisfaction; it sounds like a dream come true for any hotelier. But for Kenny Glavan, the General Manager of the Four Points by Sheraton Biloxi Beach Boulevard, it truly was a dream until they won a $50,000 hotel makeover. While most makeovers might look at the aesthetics of a hotel, that was not Four Point’s problem. In fact, they have a pristine, new property with a classically modern design. What Four Points needed was a makeover of their customer service and sales skills, and in June 2011, Signature Worldwide selected them as the first ever national hotel makeover winner.

“The first thing our owners thought was that they won $50,000. And I said, you know, you’re going to win more than that,” said General Manager Kenny Glavan. During a recent visit, Kenny said he estimates the impact could be more than $500,000.

Why offer free training in the first place? When Signature Worldwide launched the Hotel Makeover contest last April, CEO Steve Wolever made it clear that they wanted to help the hospitality industry provide legendary experiences for their customers at every touchpoint. The hospitality industry has seen cuts in staffing and discontinued training become the norm among hotels during recent years. This has made it difficult to deliver the level of customer service desired by hotel owners and managers.

As business begins to rebound, hotels that are able to elevate the guest experience are enjoying a competitive advantage. The Hotel Makeover was a way to highlight the value training can bring to hotel. The truth is, good training is a necessity for hotels to be successful. As stated in April 2011 by Hotel Makeover judge Fran Brasseux, executive vice president of Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) “Service and sales make the difference between a hotel that flourishes and a hotel that flounders.”

The staff of the Four Points received several of Signature Worldwide’s renowned hotel training programs including Transient Edge, Service Edge, Service SkillKit, Legendary Leader, Legendary Prospecting, and Social Media Edge. The hotel also benefited from telephone mystery shopping and onsite mystery shopping to measure improvement and reinforce the skills learned during trainings.

The Four Points by Sheraton Biloxi Beach Boulevard was originally a coastal landmark and the site of the city’s first highrise building in the 1960’s. After Hurricane Katrina, the hotel was stripped to the concrete and emerged rebuilt following a national economic recession, only to find themselves in the middle of the BP Oil Spill Crisis. The largest non-casino hotel on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the Four Points is strategically located on the beach near the most popular casinos. With a complete makeover of their customer service and sales skills, Four Points is primed to be a market leader.

Signature Worldwide began in 1986 training hotel employees to improve customer service levels, increase RevPAR, raise occupancy levels and ultimately generate more revenue for hospitality clients. Over the past 25 years, they have expanded their industry expertise to multifamily and public housing, equipment, trucking, party and event rental, senior living and in 2010 introduced social media training. Signature Worldwide is able to make a significant impact for their customers, regardless of whether their customer inquiries are by phone, face-to-face, or online.

About Signature Worldwide:

Signature Worldwide is the leading provider of training and business solutions to service-based organizations, creating tailored employee training and marketing programs that directly impact the bottom line. Established in 1986 and headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, Signature Worldwide operates throughout North America and has licensees in four other continents; Africa, Asia, Europe and South America. For more information, visit the Training that Sticks blog or connect with Signature Worldwide via Twitter or Facebook.

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Table of Contents

Get out
Yamoussoukro is perhaps the single most bizzare modern city on Earth. It is a large grid of paved streets and lights with almost nothing at all in between them. It would seem that former President Felix Houphouet-Boigny’s dream that his home town would become a busy capital city never came to fruition. Nevertheless “Yam” is worth a visit.


The public gardens, the Fondation Felix Houphouet-Boigny and the old Presidential Palace are all impressive public expenditures from Houphouet-Boigny’s rule.
Basilica of Our Lady of Peace – The largest Christian church in the world is the most remarkable legacy of Houphouet-Boigny. Although it doesn’t seat nearly as many worshippers, it is structurally larger than St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City (after which it was modeled), with a greater surface area and higher dome. As a condition of his attendance at the basilica’s consecration, Pope John Paul II insisted that a hospital be built nearby, and he laid the cornerstone for it during his visit; the stone still stands alone.