(photo credit: Courtesy)
Art, crocheting, cooking and gardening are Tali Yativ’s creative hobbies, which may seem to belie the fact that she is an ambitious and wide-ranging entrepreneur. Yativ is the owner and CEO of Spirit World Productions, which rents jets to send clients to exotic destinations, markets unique travel packages and custom designs dream vacations. To do all that requires a lot of ambition, talent and the ability to navigate the world as if it were your private living room.
For Yativ, it is a skill she developed at an early age. She was born in Israel but lived in Africa until she was 14. Her father worked for the Foreign Affairs Ministry, and the family went to live with him in Africa. Yativ speaks English and French fluently, so after completing her art studies at Bezalel, instead of painting and exhibiting in museums, she went to work for the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
From there, she got into the world of tourism and became an entrepreneur with some inventive ideas.
Yativ is married and is the mother of two daughters aged 26 and 17. The family lives in Kfar Haoranim, near Modi’in.How did you end up in the tourism business?
I was head of Mashab, the department of international cooperation in the Foreign Affairs Ministry. Through my work, I got to know many production companies abroad and learned the ways of the world. From there I began working with tourism companies, got ahead and became CEO. In 2006 I opened Madraft Spirit with Ran Borochov. In 2013 I bought his shares and changed the name of my company to Spirit World Productions.What was your professional goal?
I had a dream to initiate direct flights to the Seychelles, where the scenes of my childhood are. From there I wanted to expand to Zanzibar and Mauritius. These are destinations that are close to Israel geographically and are stunning in terms of the scenery and the culture. We fly directly to Africa via the Suez Canal. Since 2007, we have had a direct flight from Israel to the Seychelles, which takes only six hours. This year we opened the flight route to Zanzibar, and soon I plan to open a direct route to the island of Mauritius, which will be an eight-hour flight. The process requires renting planes and reserving hotel rooms. Over there, we organize a full vacation package that includes tours and cruises.
Who are these vacations intended for?
For families and couples, though in the case of the Seychelles we’re talking about an expensive vacation, with a package costing thousands of dollars per person. But the planes are fully booked well ahead of time -- there is a great demand. The Seychelles is a really beautiful place, inhabited by very nice people, and no one goes hungry.
There are only 80,000 inhabitants on all the islands put together.
The Zanzibar vacation appeals to a wider market. This is already “dark Africa.” The French ruled there for a long time. It is a Muslim region and poorer. In Zanzibar, you get more of a sense of the Third World. But you can still enjoy some recreation. We offer a vacation package that includes only a stay at the beaches and another package that combines a safari with recreation on gorgeous white sandy beaches. You can relax in huts on the beach and enjoy the view of the Tanzania Mountains.
Mauritius is a fairly large island. It is also known for safaris and is full of sugar cane fields and gushing waterfalls. The island is located in the Indian Ocean, between Africa and India, so it characterized by a bit of an indian atmosphere, which is felt in the cuisine as well.
Another aspect of my work is organizing productions all over the world, which is how the company started off.
We organize incentive trips for companies, mostly for management, but also for insurance, medical and hi-tech companies. For example, we have knight feasts in castles, beach parties and concerts all over the globe. Our clients tell us their fantasy, and we make it come true.Where do you like to go on vacation?
On vacations, I travel with my family, mostly to Zanzibar, Mauritius and the Seychelles. I speak Creole, which is an African French, and I already know the people on the island. I always look forward to going there.
I also enjoy spending time at home, working in the garden, sewing my own beach dresses, as well as crocheting and working on my art. I love keeping busy and see the world in a bit of a different way. For example, operating a flight route can weigh heavily in terms of the responsibility; but if you believe in what you’re doing, you feel it inside. I knew it would succeed.