We attended World Travel Market (WTM) this year with two primary goals in mind: 1) to benefit our members and 2) to move our industry forward.
Our first order of business was a panel we hosted entitled "Getting Food Tourism Right". We've observed that even though our industry is 17 years old, many destination marketers and service providers still don't understand the full scope of what "food tourism" means and consequently, are not realizing their full business potential. To some, "food tourism" is the mere act of dining out so a list of restaurants seems sufficient. To others, it's visiting wineries. Food tourism can include those things, but it is usually so much more. To help illustrate the breadth of our industry and the types of business involved, we presented an in-depth, two-hour long session where we heard from some of our industry's leading players in food tourism, including Failte Ireland, Eating Europe Food Tours, VizEat, the Piedmont region of Italy, La Cucina Caldesi Cookery School in London, and Great British Chefs. We talked a little about who food travelers are, what they like and how to get started in our industry. Nearly 300 people attended this 2-hour session.
Of course we attended WTM with our industry in mind. Over the course of the three day event, our schedule was full with 24 meetings from a variety of businesses, such as tourism offices, trade associations, advertising and public relations agencies, market research firms, journalists and bloggers and even a television producer. Many of these companies wanted to know how to work better together with us, while we explored working partnerships with other companies like KOAN Consulting based in Madrid, Spain. We're sorry if we could not fit you into our schedule this year and encourage you to get in touch earlier next year as we really would like to meet as many of our industry partners as possible! The conversations we had in these appointments will contribute to our 2018 strategic plan, product development and marketing initiatives. Lots of exciting things scheduled for 2018!
Thanks to everyone who attended our panel discussion and who attended WTM. It's a great event and one not to be missed. Mark your calendars for next year's World Travel Market which takes place November 5-7, 2018 in London.