Yalla Basta is an award-winning travel company and Israel’s leading food tours provider, with over 50,000+ international and domestic customers annually. As of its establishment in 2012, Yalla Basta is known as a market-leader in the in destination experiences industry, with a proof track-record of creativity and innovative products. Yalla Basta and its travel-related subsidiaries have gained prestigious recognitions over the past years, among them: Booking.com, World VISA, Food Tracking award and Travel and Hospitality award.
1. Can you elaborate a little more on who you are and how Yalla Basta started?
Yalla Basta is a company founded in 2011 by two couples, Mor and Reuven Filo, and Yael and Michael Weiss. The company was established out of a passion to introduce visitors to Israel and to the local tastes and aromas deeply rooted in the diverse and unique cultural tapestry of Israeli society. We began our operations in Jerusalem, at the Mahane Yehuda Market, the most famous market in Israel. From there, our activities expanded nationwide. As a leading company in our field, we continue to remain faithful to our vision of giving our participants an experience that will leave them in awe of Israeli culture through culinary and content-rich encounters.
2. Do you adjust your food tour offerings in response to seasonal changes, festivals or special events in Israel?
In Yalla Basta we like to say we have no two tours that are the same.
All tours are tailor made to fit the participants, the weather, the season, the holidays etc. In winter, we offer a warm cup of soup made by a recipe that has been passed down the generations and originated overseas, whereas in summer we will offer a tasty cheesy Knafeh topped with ice cream to beat the summer heat.
During christmas time, participants will sip mulled wine whilst tasting special christmas cake and on the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah they will eat a traditional Jewish doughnut.
3. How do you incorporate cultural ties into your food tours, aiming to enhance the overall experience for your participants?
Israel is a melting pot of many immigrants that have arrived here in the past century from all over the world bringing their own traditions and recipes with them.
Each market has such a diversity. During the tour, participants learn about the history of the market and neighborhood whilst tasting the food of the immigrants that have settled there such as Yemenite breads, Georgian pastries, Iraqi meat dishes, Tunisian sandwiches etc. At the Arab markets, participants taste traditionally-made Arab food that is unique to the region.
4. What sets Yalla Basta apart from your competitors?
With a large variety of experiences, Yalla Basta has something to offer to everyone; whether FITs, large groups, families, world-wide leaders, from different backgrounds, religions and budgets.
5. As a company operating in Israel, what value propositions can you bring to the European and international market of educational tourism companies?
Despite being a company whose primary operations have been based in Israel until today, we have developed innovative and technological products that we now offer in the European market for educational tourism organisers.
These are products that we believe can bring significant value to participants, along with operational efficiency for the organiser:
A. Quest Eat – An independent experiential activity for small groups, centered around an urban challenge that combines tastings of food and drinks, entertaining games and challenges, interactions with the local population, and rich and fascinating content.
B. Yalla Pay – A smart payment solution that enables organisers to manage budgets for food, leisure and participant convenience efficiently and conveniently without the need for cash.
C. Yalla Tech – A solution for group leaders who wish to integrate culinary experiences at different destinations operated by the guide accompanying the group.