Meet the entrepreneurs of the Booking Booster programme. Get to know Michal and Dana from Visit.org. VISIT.ORG is the world's leading platform for social impact travel experiences. 100% of hosts' revenue is invested back into the local community.
Michal Alter - Founder
“I have been working in technology and social development for over 15 years. In 2015 I founded VISIT.ORG, combining my love for technology with my dedication to social development. As one of the first female pilot cadets in the Israeli Air Force and a computer science engineer, I’ve worked as Systems Architect at Nuance Communications (Nasdaq: NUAN) and at Risk Modules, both part of the thriving Israeli high-tech industry. My passion for social development began as the Director of Refugee Affairs at the city government in Tel Aviv, where I led social service delivery and programming to serve 20,000 refugees from Darfur, South Sudan, and Eritrea. After moving to New York, I consulted at various leading nonprofit organizations, including New York Cares, Solar One, UNESCO, and Women’s World Banking”.
Michal holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University, a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies from Tel Aviv University, and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion).
Dana Mazia Weinbum - Head of Business Development
"My experience combines law, strategy, and business development with a strong social impact background. I have crafted strategies and narratives for several tech companies, served as the Executive Manager of "Tzemach," an NGO promoting social involvement among youth, and was a consultant on a number of big government projects.
I was born and raised in Israel, where I served in the Israel Defense Force as a training course officer. I am a member of the Global Shapers of World Economic Forum and a volunteer at the "Memories@Home" Holocaust Memorial Project as well as at TOM, a global movement of communities creating affordable solutions to everyday challenges facing people with disabilities".
Dana holds a B.A. in business and an LLB and LLM in business law from the Interdisciplinary Center.
How did your Visit.org story begin?
When Michal's' first child was born, her refugee friends from the nonprofit where she worked and her friends from elsewhere met for the first time when they came to her apartment with baby gifts. They were neighbors but had never had a genuine, relaxed human interaction until that day. It was a very powerful encounter. Michal created visit.org to allow these interactions to happen much more frequently.
What is one of your favorite experiences people can book with Visit.org?
One of my more recent memorable experiences has been our visit to Al Hagal, an Israeli social enterprise that leads year-long youth empowerment programs through surfing to underserved youth from around the country. I participated in a half day activity with the organization, taking my first wave surfing lesson ever.
What is your dream for Visit.org?
Our dream is to make social impact travel experiences so accessible and easily bookable that within 10 years from now, each and every travel itinerary will include at least one half-day immersive, impactful visit.org experience.
What makes Visit.org so unique?
Although the travel industry is trending towards offering more experiential and interactive activities with local exposure, no other travel platform at scale focuses solely on social enterprises as suppliers or on short-term tours that channel funds back to local populations.
What is your impact on the world?
By opening the doors of nonprofits and social ventures to millions of travelers from around the world we:
1. Stimulate economic development: Visits provide organizations with additional revenue that is invested directly back into the community.
2. Enhance the missions of great social organizations.
3. Promote public education.
Since Oct. 2015 we’ve helped 500 social ventures package a new, streamlined travel product that is offered regularly, generating funds and awareness for their causes.
Our impact goals include public education, enhancing the missions of impactful organizations, and economic development.