ITB Berlin 2010Berlin, Germany — 10-14 March 2010
Welcome to our newest member – bitemojo
Interview with Michael Weiss, Co-founder
Tell us your story. How did bitemojo get started?
Yael and I are husband and wife and are the owners of Israel’s largest food experiences company. During its seven years of operating, and while paving the way to become the nation’s market leader, we have recognised the strong connection food experiences have with values such as immersion and impacting local businesses, and realised bringing all this together with innovation and technology can create an outstanding hyper-local experience that can tremendously contribute both to the traveller and the local destination altogether. At that point, we decided to develop bitemojo as the first app in the world that offers a tailored experience integrating great local food, hyper-local places, educative content and full autonomy and flexibility with nothing but a smartphone.
What makes bitemojo different from your competitors?
bitemojo can offer youth and educational travel organisers the “holy grail” of local educative experience: a self-explored, flexible, immersive itineraries, with selected food and drinks that represent the local cuisine and culture, with hyper-local, super interesting places to discover along the way, and a chunk of educative information the participants are digesting during their experience in the form of tasks, mission and group challenges, that reward them with extra bites or biteCoins – our inner bitemojo currency. We can cater from dozens to hundreds of participants, at the same time, in the same area, in a very cost-effective budget for the organiser, starting at only 9 Euros per participant. And the good thing is that we are currently working in 11 cities, 7 of them are in Europe, and keep expanding. Therefore, youth travel organisers can rely on us not only in one city but in several. I’m not familiar with other products in the market that can offer the same advantages, so I think we are quite unique in this space.
What is your favourite success story from your organisation?
bitemojo is currently the #1 choice for the biggest youth and educational travel organisers in Israel, bringing more than 40,000 youth travellers to Israel annually. 1.5 years ago, they have started a pilot with us for a small percentage of their groups – only 1500 participants, and that was a turning point for them and for us, as today we are about to finish 2018 with a total of 20,000 participants that discovered Israel the bitemojo way, and demand is on the rise.
What can we expect to see from bitemojo in the future?
We hope to become the #1 hyper-local food experience in the world and the preferred choice of youth and educational travel organisers for in-destination experiences.
Which trends do you see in educational and active youth travel?
We are witnessing several interesting facts coming from the youth travellers we have worked with: they are technology-natives. We don’t need to ask them to watch tutorials and guides of how to use the app, they just switch it on and swim like a fish in the water. Second, technology for them isn’t an external device they use frequently but more like an “external brain” that they don’t leave the door without. Technology is the way by which they walk on earth. We analyse them as travellers, they are always looking for the different, on-my-own, way to discover places, and they care the most about the hyper-local stories and people they meet on their way, more than any important monument or landmark.
How do you work to ensure the health and safety of young travellers involved with bitemojo?
All our bitemojo itineraries are taking place in the most-visited areas in each of our 11 cities. We do beaten-tracks, but in the off-the-beaten-track way, so our participants are as safe as they would be visiting these areas as part of their regular itinerary. Regarding the food we offer them to taste in each of the cities, all the places we work with have been hand-picked by us and are known among the locals as the best places to eat in their city. We are choosing them based on the food of course, but not just it, also their personal story and background plays a role, and of course – their commitment to provide a top-notch service.
What was your motivation to join WYSE Travel Confederation?
The more we have worked with youth travellers, we have realised how strategically important youth travel is not just for world tourism but also to the world itself. We are encouraged to be part of the “chain of influence” of youth travellers’ organised trips around the world and take part in their learning and education about our universe. We see WYSE as one of the most important organisations in this market, and now that we are heavily focussing on youth and educational travel, it was only natural to become a proud member.
Have you attended a WYSE Travel Confederation event? (World Youth and Student Travel Conference, STAY WYSE, WYSE Exchange Australia, WETM-IAC) If so, what was your experience with the event?
We haven’t participated in any WYSE event before, but we intend to narrow this gap already in coming to the STAY WYSE event in January.
What is an industry challenge your organisation is facing at this time?
We are trying to answer the question every youth travel organiser is asking himself: how can I provide an outstanding, immersive, hyper-local experience to my groups that will take place at the same time and same area, with minimum time consuming preparations, and in an affordable price. I believe we have that answer.
Bitemojo invites explorers to discover places through an immersive experience of self-guidance, great food and tailored route and content.
We take travellers and locals on adventurer itineraries that include authentic food and drinks representing the local DNA, along with hyper-local content in the form of tasks, missions, and quizzes that turn the city into a lifetime experience.
In the center of bitemojo stands the bitemojo Coin, a powerful in-app currency that allows our users to use their bites all over the world, earn coins for accomplishments, and gift their friends.
Educational tourism organisers can enjoy white-label, co-branding, opportunities as an integral part of the experience.
Bitemojo currently operates in 11 cities and in 6 native languages: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Hebrew.
Membership: WYSE Travel Confederation Starter Member
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