culinary travel

  • Erik Wolf posted an article
    World Food Travel Association Launches New Culinary Certified Tourist Guide Program see more

    WORLD FOOD TRAVEL ASSOCIATION LAUNCHES
    NEW ONLINE CULINARY TOURIST GUIDE CERTIFICATION PROGRAMME

    Today the World Food Travel Association (WFTA) and the European Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (FEG) signed an agreement to offer the world’s first truly online, comprehensive Culinary Tourist Guide Certification training programme.

    The WFTA is the world's leading authority on food and beverage tourism.  Its World Food Travel University offers the world’s greatest variety and highest quality of food tourism education and training programmes. The Association offers Masterclasses, a Master’s Degree, speeches, workshops, a trade podcast and an industry handbook under its World Food Travel University portfolio.

    The Culinary Tourist Guide Certification training programme is a short course designed to deliver highly specific content at the participant's own pace. The training programme takes approximately three hours to complete and includes two online Masterclasses with knowledge comprehension exams, followed by an open question assessment. At the end of the training, those tourist guides who pass are certified that they know how to design and conduct a high-quality and professional culinary tour. Tourist guides who graduate receive a printable diploma, lapel pin and marketing support.

    The programme is delivered 100% online and is custom designed to meet the needs of professional tourist guides. English subtitles make comprehension easier for those whose native language is not English.

    The training programme is offered exclusively to the FEG’s association members and affiliates. A list of affiliated organisations can be found on the FEG website.

    The FEG Executive Council President, Efi Kalampoukidou said, "We are really glad to be able to collaborate with the WFTA on this first online course for FEG to offer exclusively to its members. We have all been guiding in our own areas of qualification on gastronomy tours, wine tasting, traditional food markets and taking ​our guests to cooking classes, but ​so far with no ​formal life-long training for our profession ​in this specialist field. It is a great chance for us all to be trained and assessed by the WFTA and finally become ‘Culinary-Certified Tourist Guides.’ I'm sure our colleagues across Europe will embrace this effort for continuous professional development and it'll be a great success ​for all.  This certification will be ​of benefit not just to tourist guides, but to travellers ​as a whole - destinations, tour organisers and of course ​our domestic and overseas travellers, who will all enjoy ​enhanced guiding services ​from us. “

    The WFTA’s Executive Director, Erik Wolf added, “This is an important turning point in the world’s food/culinary/gastronomy tourism industry. There has been a tremendous growth in food tours around the world. What has been lacking so far is the professionalism needed to help travelers get the most out of a destination and its culinary culture. There are a lot of reviews with 5 stars on websites like TripAdvisor simply because the guide had a great personality. Travellers need assurance before they leave home that the guide knows the local culinary culture inside and out. Many guides do, but sadly many do not, and the consumer is none the wiser. Our culinary tourist guide certification programme is designed to provide a common denominator of excellence among culinary tourist guides world-wide. Travelers can rest assured that a Culinary-Certified Tourist Guide will deliver an in-depth, high-quality culinary tour of the given destination. We’re delighted to partner with FEG in this important endeavor.”

    Learn More or Guides Apply Now

    ABOUT THE WORLD FOOD TRAVEL ASSOCIATION (WFTA)

    The World Food Travel Association (WFTA) was founded in 2003 as a non-profit and non-governmental organization (NGO) and today is recognized as the world's leading authority on food and beverage tourism. Each year the Association serves nearly 100,000+ professionals in over 100 countries. The WFTA’s knowledge, tools and training help trade professionals and organizations to leverage their area's food and beverage products and experiences to help create a strong sense of place, which increases visitor arrivals; destination brand equity; and export demand for their area's food and beverage products. Learn more at www.worldfoodtravel.org.

    ABOUT THE EUROPEAN FEDERATION OF TOURIST GUIDE ASSOCIATIONS (FEG)

    FEG was founded in 1986 in Paris to represent the tourist guide profession at the European level, to publicise and improve the quality of service offered to all visitors to Europe, and to bring together and strengthen professional tourist guiding links across the continent. Since then, the organisation has grown to serve over 50,000 professional tourist guides all throughout Europe. FEG provides training, advocacy and a Code of Conduct to ensure the continued professionalism of tourist guiding in Europe. Learn more at https://feg-touristguides.com.

    ABOUT FOOD TOURISM

    Learn more about what food tourism is, which business sectors it includes and the benefits of being involved at www.WhatIsFoodTourism.org.

    RELEASE DATELINE: LONDON, United Kingdom (May 6, 2019)

    MEDIA CONTACTS:

    Erik Wolf, Executive Director, World Food Travel Association help(at)worldfoodtravel(dot)org, (+44) 7827 582 554

    Efi Kalampoukidou, President, European Federation of Tourist Guide Associations info(at)feg-touristguides.org

  • Erik Wolf posted an article
    World Gourmet Society Chef Video Competition Applications Now Open see more

    The WGS Best Video Contest 2019 has started

    The World Gourmet Society, a strategic partner of our Association, has launched this year's edition of the chef video challenge. Their "Best Video Contest" is a great way for professional chefs and home cooks to showcase their culinary skills to a truly global gourmet and food lover audience.

    Last year 58 videos from 17 countries generated in total more than 400.000 social media views.

    You can submit your chef video now!

    For more information browse the 2019 video contest page where you also will find some tips and rules about the contest. The global winner of the 2019 contest will be announced during a gala dinner in London.

    The 2019 award categories are:

    • Show your personality as a chef (hero category)
    • Most Creative Plate
    • Best Use of Ingredients
    • Best Cooking Techniques shown
    • Honouring Local Traditions
    • Most Professionally Produced video
    • Most Entertaining video
    • Best Social Media response

    Browse the videos from the 2018 WGS Video Contest to review the quality of the last years’ winners or check out the 2018 final results from Monaco here.

     

  • Erik Wolf posted an article
    World Food Travel Association launches Nepal's First Food Tourism Conference see more

    Today, the World Food Travel Association, along with partners in Nepal, announced the launch of the country's first food tourism conference under the name FoodTreX Kathmandu. The FoodTreX brand was created by the World Food Travel Association (WFTA), as the umbrella brand name for the Association’s food and beverage travel trade events. The conference organizer and certified World Food Travel Association Ambassador, Suraj Pradhan reflects on the state of food tourism in Nepal, “Despite having an extensive food and drink culture, Nepal has not been able to tap the immense potential in gastronomic tourism. With facts and figures to back them up, we strongly believe that food is the way to a tourist’s heart.”

    FoodTreX Kathmandu Regional Food Travel Summit will take place on 24, 25, and 26 of May at the Park Village Hotel by KGH Group at Budhanilkantha Kathmandu, 21218 Kathmandu, Nepal. Delegates will enjoy a three-day event full of food-loving activities, face-to-face networking opportunities and inspiration from some of the industry’s leaders. Organizers include Two Tables, the U-Turn Group and Social Tours.

    Learn More & Register

    Friday May 24 – delegates participate in a curated food tour with Kathmandu Food Trail

    Saturday May 25 – “Meet the Chefs” at the HUB, Thamel, where delegates and local chefs will rub elbows with some of the country’s influential chefs and enjoy a cocktail-style event with an amazing dishes from local producers and made with local ingredients

    Sunday May 26 –  FoodTreX Kathmandu is an all-day conference full of speakers sharing their success stories, presentations and panel discussions from local and international food tourism industry leaders

    The purpose of the FoodTreX Kathmandu is to explore the rapid transformations that have affected the interrelated areas of gastronomy, tourism and society, shaping new forms of destination branding in Nepal. It is an opportunity to network face-to-face with industry trailblazers and counterparts and help further develop food tourism in Nepal.

    Erik Wolf, the WFTA’s founder and Executive Director, expressed his delight, “FoodTreX Kathmandu represents our first formal step into Asia. We’re pleased to be working with our local ambassador Suraj Pradhan and his team to deliver an outstanding first food tourism event for Nepal.”

    The confirmed list of speakers includes:

    Erik Wolf Executive Director, World Food Travel Association

    Dr. Saurabh Kumar Dixit Eastern Hill University (India)

    Karna Shakya Founder, KGH Group of Hotel and Resorts

    Deepak Raj Joshi CEO, Nepal Tourism Board

    Raj Gyawali Founder & Director, Social Tours

    Prashanta Khanal Food Blogger & Restaurateur

    Dr. Aruna Uprety Public Health Specialist

    Bijay Amatya CEO, Kora Tours

    Samita Kapali Co-Founder, Marketing Director, Green Growth

    Sangam Sherpa Founder, Kapan Organic Farm House

    Dr. Huma Bokkhim (PhD) Senior Food Research Officer, Department of Food Technology and Quality Control, Nepal

    Sunil Shakya Chairman, PATA – Nepal Chapter, KGH Group of Hotel and Resorts

     

    FOODTREX TARGET AUDIENCE

    The FoodTreX conference series is designed for food, beverage, travel and hospitality professionals, including:

    • Destination marketers and governments
    • Small business owners and entrepreneurs
    • Marketing managers and strategists
    • Branding, PR and advertising professionals
    • Product developers
    • Trainers and educators
    • Bloggers
    • People considering a career change
    • Students forging their career path
    • Any other professionals with an interest in food and beverage tourism

    Learn More & Register

    ABOUT THE WORLD FOOD TRAVEL ASSOCIATION (WFTA)

    The World Food Travel Association (WFTA) was founded in 2003 as a non-profit and non-governmental organization (NGO) and today is recognized as the world's leading authority on food and beverage tourism. Each year the Association serves nearly 100,000+ professionals in over 100 countries. The WFTA’s knowledge, tools and training help trade professionals and organizations to leverage their area's food and beverage products and experiences to help create a strong sense of place, which increases visitor arrivals; destination brand equity; and export demand for their area's food and beverage products. Learn more at www.worldfoodtravel.org.

    ABOUT THE FOODTREX FAMILY OF EVENTS

    FoodTreX stands for "Food Travel Experience" and is a brand that was introduced by the World Food Travel Association in 2018 to increase the level of quality and innovation in trade events in our industry. The FoodTreX Regional Summits bring discussion of food and beverage tourism issues and trends to stakeholders in local areas. So far, FoodTreX events have been held in the UK, Spain, Greece, Australia and online. FoodTreX Kathmandu is the first FoodTreX event in Asia.

     

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - KATHMANDU, Nepal, May 15, 2018

    Media Contact: Suraj Pradhan (+977) 9845075950 hello(at)twotables(dot)com(dot)au

  • Erik Wolf posted an article
    Should Greece Bet on Gastronomy Tourism? see more

    We grew up listening and reading about the beautiful Greek beaches and the brilliant sun of Greece. For many decades, people from all over the world have been visiting Greece to enjoy the unique Greek summer. Photos with sandy beaches and emerald waters travel around the world and are republished on social media platforms every day.

    But is Greece only sun and sea? Apparently not. Greece is culture, history, way of living but also tasty food.

    This has always been recognized by people from other countries! Greeks know very well how to enjoy the tasty food with good company!

    The history of Greek gastronomy is long. Even today, there are Greek recipes which were included in ancient Greeks’ daily diet. Over the years, Greek cuisine has evolved, and has become what we all know and enjoy nowadays.

    Greece has a strong gastronomic culture. It has plenty of recipes, great local products and people who know how to cook and they love to do it daily, in every corner of the country. All this makes us believe that Greece, in the coming years, will be able to claim a high position on the world map of gastronomy tourism.

    We already have the first thing we need, the good local cuisine.

    The second thing that helps Greece, is that in general there is a good reputation of Greek cuisine abroad.

    So, how do we have to move forward?

    Gastronomy tourism does not just mean that those who come to Greece will eat good quality and delicious food. It means that we will offer high-quality gastronomic experiences such as food tours, cooking classes, wine tastings, visits to dairies, estates, etc.

    All of these activities should be recorded and create a tourist product. We need to describe them well and price them fairly. These programs should then be promoted abroad, through travel agents but also directly to the general public.

    It is out of question that the gastronomy experiences offered, should be of a high standard. They should attract the tourists for their quality in order to make them continue spreading the word about Greece, even when they leave our country.

    Food was from ancient times a way for people to approach each other. In Greece, the family table is something sacred. It gathers relatives and friends, where issues that concern them are discussed. The family table in Greece is where the Greeks communicate their joy or sorrow.

    Greek people are hospitable. They honor their visitor and easily offer him a seat on their family table, making him feel a member of the family.

    These are our two strongest elements for the future development of Greek gastronomy tourism. Our good local cuisine and the strong hospitality that the Greeks have. It is a combination that if it is cultivated properly, it is irresistible.

    The development of gastronomy tourism in Greece will bring significant benefits to the agricultural sector too, since local Greek products will be consumed. This will also greatly benefit the local community, so profits are much larger than anyone can imagine initially.

    What we need is to create organized and attractive tourist programs. Speaking for organized proposals, we do not mean suggestions that appeal only large groups of tourists from abroad. We are talking about a detailed inventory of the gastronomy experiences we can offer to our guests.

    This is precisely the process that we will have to follow throughout Greece, so that Greek food tourism can be shaped and become an autonomous tourist product.

    We should all work towards this direction, knowing that in the coming years gastronomy tourism is expected to rise to very high levels.  It would be a shame if Greece would not be on the top since it is a country with long gastronomy tradition and a strong sense of hospitality.

    Maria  Athanasopoulou is an Ambassador of the World Food Travel Association in Greece and Master Culinary Travel Professional. She is also the founder of the tourism marketing company Respond On Demand Ltd.

  • World Food Travel Association posted an article
    World Food Travel Association Announces Board Openings see more

    The World Food Travel Association has four new openings on our Board of Directors. Director terms last two years and begin on either July 1 or January 1.

    Highlights of Board duties include:

    • Participate in monthly and annual Board meetings and ad hoc meetings
    • Formulation and oversight of policies and procedures 
    • Strategic planning
    • Financial management, including adoption and oversight of the annual budget, fundraising, grants and donor outreach
    • Oversight of program planning, promotion and evaluation
    • Provide the Executive Director with organizational leadership and advice

    No financial contribution is required or expected as a Board member. Board positions are voluntary and unpaid. Additionally, travel expenses to any required or elective meetings or Association events must be borne by the Board Member or his/her organization. If elected, you will be required to sign a mutual non-disclosure agreement, complete Ambassador Certification training (45 minutes) and complete an annual workplan (template provided).

    Just a few of the benefits of Board service include:

    • Complimentary Gold level membership for the duration of your service (including all Gold level member benefits such as public listing in online community directory)
    • Complimentary access to many Association educational products
    • Visible profile on Association website with hyperlinks
    • Visible role as moderator in Association's social media properties
    • Eligibility to play a key role in Association events, including summits, webinars and press conferences.

    The application process is simply a letter you submit that introduces 1) yourself, 2) your role in the industry, and 3) how you can contribute to the growth of the Association.

    Applications are encouraged from every continent and industry, as well as from those who are diverse by age, gender, religion, physical ability, sexual orientation, etc.

    Applications close June 15, 2019.

    If interested, click "Get More Information" and we'll send you the full description of board duties. If you're ready to apply now, you can do so here.

    Get More Information OR Apply Now

  • Jane Connelly posted an article
    Plastic Bans Are Finally Happening! see more

    Packaging waste, and especially single use plastic, is one of the biggest problems our world has ever faced. What do you think? Is the problem out of control? Have we passed the point of no return? Here at the World Food Travel Association, we still think Earth has a chance.

    And as it so happens, the war against plastic waste is now on. We noticed some movment towards this over the past few years. Now in 2019, we have seen a surge in bans on plastic of various forms, from straws and shopping bags, to cutlery, takeaway containers and more. And many of the experts we surveyed for our 2019 State of the Food Travel Industry report agreed that single use plastics were detrimental to the overall food- and beverage-loving visitor experience. It seems that we have consensus: we have a problem.

    Many cities, regions and countries have recognized the problem and are now doing something about it to force change. After the State of California banned plastic bags and implemented a tax for single use plastics, the US state of New York followed with its own plastic bag ban. Within California, San Francisco enacted legislation last year to ban plastic straws. We have also seen that Taiwan is stepping up with their own bans as well as the European Parliament for legislation across the EU.  This is music to our ears!

    At the World Food Travel Association, we support industry advocates who educate food loving travelers to reduce the volume of food and beverage packaging waste that we all generate. Learn more about who we support and what we are doing here.

    How are you helping wage the #WarOnPlastic?

  • Erik Wolf posted an article
    Sessions announced for FoodTreX Global | Online Food Travel Summit April 17-18 see more

    The FoodTreX Global | Online Food Travel Summit is back and taking place this year on April 17-18. So far, 9 fantastic sessions have been scheduled over two days. One day is oriented towards businesses and entrepreneurs, while the second day is oriented more towards destination marketers and governments. Everyone (trade, media, academic, consumer, etc.) is welcome to attend either day or both days. FoodTreX Global is produced by the World Food Travel Association, the world's leading authority on, and oldest organization devoted to, food and beverage tourism.

     

    Learn More & Register Now

     

    So far confirmed sessions and speakers include: 

    Day 1, April 17, 2019, Entrepreneurship & Business Focused

    What Matters Today in Food Tourism, Erik Wolf, World Food Travel Association (Portland | London | Barcelona)

    What is the Undeniable Value of Social Responsibility in Food Tourism? Chantal Cooke, Passion for the Planet (United Kingdom)

    How to Set the Tone for Your Visitors' Experience, Concetta D'Emma, Unconventional Breakfasts (Italy)

    Why Meeting Your Food-Loving Customers Expectations Is Your Next Best Marketing Tool, Eskerne Falcon, Discover San Sebastian (Spain)

     

    Day 2, April 18, 2019, Destination Marketing Focused

    What is Food Sport & What Can it Offer Destinations? Mike McCloud, MMA Creative (USA)

    How a Sustainable Food/ Beverage Tourism Strategy Can Work for Destinations, World Food Travel Association (Portland | London | Barcelona)

    What Destinations Should Be Doing Differently With Social Media, Shonette Laffy, Destination Bristol (United Kingdom)

    How Rural Areas Can Attract More Visitors, Olivia Duff, Headfort Arms Hotel & Boyne Valley (Ireland)

    How To Differentiate Your Destination With Its Immigrant Culinary Cultures, Donna Keren, NYC & Company (USA) 

     

    Learn More & Register Now

     

    Pricing is only US$59 for one day or US$99 for both days. Members and Certified Ambassadors of the World Food Travel Association check in your Members Area once logged in for your discount codes.

     

    It is also worth mentioning that the second day of FoodTreX Global overlaps with World Food Travel Day, a virtual event designed to draw attention to preserving and promoting local culinary cultures around the planet, and an important area in need of attention, according to findings from industry experts interviewed in the World Food Travel Association's 2019 State of the Food Travel Industry Report. Learn about World Food Travel Day and what you can do go be involved.

     

  • Erik Wolf posted an article
    Just Released! Ground-Breaking New State of the Food Travel Industry Report see more

    Today the World Food Travel Association (WFTA) released its latest publication for the food and beverage tourism industry, an entirely revamped State of the Food Travel Industry Report, featuring original, ground-breaking research.

    Report Summary

    The 62-page report compiles the opinions, suggestions and comments from 71 food and beverage tourism industry experts from 20 countries. The report looks at the performance of food and beverage tourism providers, and suggests ways they can improve, such as by developing or improving food and drink activities. It also looks at key food tourism issues overall, along with ways our industry can better match traveler expectations. Considerable attention is given to preserving culinary authenticity, and why it is important to educate visitors, offering them a memory and not just a meal.

    Key Takeaways

    Some of the key takeaways from the report include:

    1. Travelers and consumers alike are more obsessed than ever with everything having to do with food and drink. Interest continues to increase thanks largely to the role of social media.
    2. Providing a genuinely authentic product or experience is essential. Visitors are increasingly knowledgeable about, and demanding of, authenticity in food/drink products and experiences.
    3. The need for cultural preservation is urgent, and not limited to cuisine, as other manifestations of culture, such as music, clothing/fashion, architecture and more are threatened by globalization.
    4. Failure to support small food/beverage businesses will result in hastening towards globalization of the so-called “local” experience, thereby completely negating one of the main reasons to travel for food and drink, as destinations are already beginning to resemble each other more and more.
    5. At the same time, residents would benefit from knowing more about the history of iconic culinary products and traditions in their area, and why preserving culinary culture is a tool for economic development. Therefore local residents should be considered an important target market.
    6. The food/drink experiences provided by businesses and destinations often don’t match visitor expectations. Businesses need to understand that they are selling not just a food/beverage product but also an experience. If visitor (customer) expectations are not met, negative word-of-mouth ensues. Know your customer journey and plan accordingly to help prevent that.
    7. The benefits of developing food tourism go well beyond actual tourism. Food tourism is not just about attracting more visitors who generate a positive economic impact with their spending. It can also help protect local heritage by putting the spotlight on local food and drink, conveying a sense of pride to local residents, and even fostering post-trip demand for product exports.

     

    Get a Free Copy of the Report

    Register for a free copy of the report. The report is another way that the World Food Travel Association (WFTA) leads with firsts for the world’s food and beverage tourism industry.

     

    About the World Food Travel Association

    The World Food Travel Association (WFTA) was founded in 2003 as a non-profit and non-governmental organization (NGO) and is considered the world's leading authority on food and beverage tourism. The Association’s mission is to empower local communities and businesses with the food and beverage tourism knowledge and tools needed to reach new consumers and gain a competitive edge. Each year the Association serves the needs of nearly 100,000+ professionals in over 100 countries.

  • Erik Wolf posted an article
    FoodTreX Pamplona (February 21-22) Final Program Announced see more

    The final program for FoodTreX Pamplona has just been announced. You can download it here (both Spanish and English-language versions are available).

    View the Program Now

    Join us February 21-22 in Navarre, Spain for FoodTreX Pamplona, the most important gastronomy tourism trade conference that is held in Spain.  A fundamental objective of the Second International Conference on Gastronomy Tourism, FoodTrex Pamplona, is to bring you speakers, tools, ideas and best practices to develop products that visitors want, and to learn how to promote products and experiences to visitors in the best possible way. As one of the food tourism industry’s leading events for the trade, you’ll meet leaders, experts, influencers and practitioners from all around the world, who will present ideas to help grow your business and improve the experiences you offer.

    Better gastronomy-oriented businesses and experiences can bring more visitors, more income and local taxes, better community development, and more product exports. This is a critical discovery identified by expert panelists in the 2019 State of the Food Travel Industry Report by the World Food Travel Association. Without the proper direction and planning however, a destination's food tourism potential may remain untapped, or fall into an unsustainable pattern that undermines its future. The goal should be to provide meaningful food and drink related experiences that give visitors a true taste of your destination and create raving fans, convinced guests who will continue to promote your product or destination long after they depart. Attend FoodTreX Pamplona to get the proper direction you need to succeed, including answers to questions such as:

    • How to identify opportunities and define achievable objectives.
    • How to create an effective development strategy.
    • How to involve all the actors in the development strategy.
    • How to create Gastronomic Tourism experiences.
    • How to reach the customer.
    • How to adapt to the market.
    • What are the latest trends and fashions embraced by food lovers.

    Over 25 confirmed speakers for the two-day conference include:

    • Erik Wolf, World Food Travel Association, USA.
    • Marc Crothall, Food Tourism Board and Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scotland, UK.
    • Dra. Luisa Puppo, Ligucibario, Italy.
    • Chantal Cooke, Passion for the Planet, UK.
    • Clara Bosh, Ruta del Vino Somontano, Spain.
    • Sophie Cassis, Green Haven Gardens and Le Bon Goût Frais des Îles de la Madeleine, Québec, Canada.
    • Margarita Calleja, Extremadura Turismo, Spain.
    • Kathryn Davis, Visit Bristol, UK.
    • Antoni Aguiló. Fra Roger Association for Food and Culture, Menorca, Spain.
    • Kosuke Nakamori, Manager, Japan National Tourism Organization, Japan.

    If you're in the area, or if food tourism in Spain is important to you, you cannot afford to miss this major industry event.

    Will we see you February 21-22 in Navarre, Spain

    Register Now for FoodTreX Pamplona

    FoodTreX Pamplona is kindly supported by:

  • Erik Wolf posted an article
    Just Released! Podcast Episode 18: Michele Morris - Make Lemonade When Life Gives You Lemons see more

    In this episode #18 of Eat Well Travel Better, join us as we speak with Michele Morris, an award-winning cookbook author and freelance food writer. As a recipe developer and food photographer, she has worked with clients like Niman Ranch and Prairie Grove Farms. She publishes two popular blogs – a food blog with over 1000 recipes, and a travel blog featuring over 150 locations around the world with a heavy emphasis on the food and wine. Both blogs feature Michele’s photography. Although she only recently discovered her Italian roots, Italy holds a special place in Michele’s heart. She’s traveled to Rome nearly 20 times and leads culinary tours in southern Italy. When home in Denver, Michele volunteers extensively in her community.

     

    In this episode you'll learn:

    • To know and focus on your true strengths, and hire others to do what you need help with
    • For those who are shy, how to arrange circumstances so you will be in a position to overcome your shyness
    • Why authentic cuisines ultimately beget fusion dishes
    • Why regional cuisines are, in many cases, more important than national cuisines
    • Why promoting regions instead of entire countries can help combat overtourism
    • Why travel is the best education

     

    LISTEN NOW 

  • Erik Wolf posted an article
    Just Released! Podcast Episode 17: Rosetta Ferrari - Travel is the Best Education see more

    In this episode #17 of Eat Well Travel Better, join us as we speak with Rosetta Ferrari. Born and raised in London to Italian parents, Rosetta spent her young life in and around the food industry, but chose to seek an alternative path. In her pursuit of a career in music, the food world kept finding its way back to her in the form of various jobs and opportunities, and eventually her position at Gregg Wallace Italian Food Holidays, a special interest holiday company. required her to design and create bespoke itineraries for authentic Italian food tours, which run regularly throughout the year and often sell out at maximum capacity.

     

     

     

    In this episode you'll learn:

    • To know and focus on your true strengths, and hire others to do what you need help with
    • For those who are shy, how to arrange circumstances so you will be in a position to overcome your shyness
    • Why authentic cuisines ultimately beget fusion dishes
    • Why regional cuisines are, in many cases, more important than national cuisines
    • Why promoting regions instead of entire countries can help combat overtourism
    • Why travel is the best education

     

    LISTEN NOW 

  • World Food Travel Association posted an article
    Join us February 21-22, 2019 for FoodTreX Pamplona, in Navarre, Spain. see more

    Join us February 21-22 in Navarre, Spain for FoodTreX Pamplona, the most important gastronomy tourism trade conference that is held in Spain.  A fundamental objective of the Second International Conference on Gastronomy Tourism, FoodTrex Pamplona, is to bring you speakers, tools, ideas and best practices to develop products that visitors want, and to learn how to promote products and experiences to visitors in the best possible way. As one of the food tourism industry’s leading events for the trade, you’ll meet leaders, experts, influencers and practitioners from all around the world, who will present ideas to help grow your business and improve the experiences you offer.

    Better gastronomy-oriented businesses and experiences can bring more visitors, more income and local taxes, better community development, and more product exports. This is a critical discovery identified by expert panelists in the 2019 State of the Food Travel Industry Report by the World Food Travel Association. Without the proper direction and planning however, a destination's food tourism potential may remain untapped, or fall into an unsustainable pattern that undermines its future. The goal should be to provide meaningful food and drink related experiences that give visitors a true taste of your destination and create raving fans, convinced guests who will continue to promote your product or destination long after they depart. Attend FoodTreX Pamplona to get the proper direction you need to succeed, including answers to questions such as:

    • How to identify opportunities and define achievable objectives.
    • How to create an effective development strategy.
    • How to involve all the actors in the development strategy.
    • How to create Gastronomic Tourism experiences.
    • How to reach the customer.
    • How to adapt to the market.
    • What are the latest trends and fashions embraced by food lovers.

    Over 25 confirmed speakers for the two-day conference include:

    • Erik Wolf, World Food Travel Association, USA.
    • Marc Crothall, Food Tourism Board and Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scotland, UK.
    • Dra. Luisa Puppo, Ligucibario, Italy.
    • Chantal Cooke, Passion for the Planet, UK.
    • Clara Bosh, Ruta del Vino Somontano, Spain.
    • Sophie Cassis, Green Haven Gardens and Le Bon Goût Frais des Îles de la Madeleine, Québec, Canada.
    • Margarita Calleja, Extremadura Turismo, Spain.
    • Kathryn Davis, Visit Bristol, UK.
    • Antoni Aguiló. Fra Roger Association for Food and Culture, Menorca, Spain.
    • Kosuke Nakamori, Manager, Japan National Tourism Organization, Japan.

    If you're in the area, or if food tourism in Spain is important to you, you cannot afford to miss this major industry event.

    Learn more and register here.

     

  • Erik Wolf posted an article
    What's your reason to travel? Would you travel for chain coffee or hamburgers? We didn't think so. see more

    Earlier this winter, I paid a visit to a European city whose name I won't disclose. The city offers friendly people, and a nice food and drink scene. Another bonus is that it is relatively unknown for these positive traits, so there are not so many tourists to contend with. 

    Walking around the city, I came upon a Christmas market, as one might during the wintertime. I walked around the market to see all the vendor stalls. Of the dozens of stalls, I counted only about 5 vendors that sold locally-made products, two of which were alcoholic beverages and the other 3 were locally-made crafts. Of the craft producers, nothing was particularly interesting or unique. One vendor was selling handmade stained-glass figures, one of which was a butterfly for the equivalent price of about US$280. I'm all for supporting local producers of any kind, but not at that price. Today, right now, on the popular Etsy website featuring handmade items, I found another beautiful butterfly (OK, not the same one, but actually, prettier) for the equivalent price of about US$35, including postage. Which do you think I'm going to choose? And all of the other vendors were selling items that looked like they easily could have been manufactured cheaply overseas, and maybe even sourced at any of the discounted 1 dollar/1 pound/1 euro stores. No one would be impressed.

    Then I began to think, for anyone who had traveled to this city for the Christmas Market, they would have been woefully disappointed. It got me thinking about motivation for travel in general, and other famous Christmas markets in the world, such as Krakow or Munich. People travel to these cities specifically to visit these world-class markets. I then began to think about food lovers and how we choose destinations. At the same Christmas market mentioned above, there were no vendors selling interesting local foods (either packaged as gifts or as takeaway to eat then), but readily available were falafels, hot dogs, bulk candy and other foodstuffs you might expect to find at a food market anywhere else in the world. Perhaps the market was not intended to appeal to tourists. If it was designed for locals, then one would have to ask, why would anyone fight local traffic and expensive, hard-to-find, holiday parking for the opportunity to buy things you can find in cheap shops anyway? The quote, "There's a sucker born every minute," comes to mind right now, attributed to P. T. Barnum, an American businessman of the mid-19th century and creator of the world-famous circus bearing his name.

    I began thinking about a campaign from Visa (you know, the credit card processor) that advertised on the television during the holidays in the United Kingdom. The campaign encourages consumers to get out and spend money on the local high streets (i.e., the main shopping streets). Wanting to buy local is a sentiment that makes us feel all warm and fuzzy, but when the retailers on the high street are primarily coffee chains, discount chains and mobile phone stores, the fuzziness turns to annoying white noise.

    The solution is not so simple. For example, is a market like the one described above, an initiative from the local municipality, the area tourism office, an event producer, or a real estate developer? Each of these potential stakeholders has a different motivation to produce and manage a local market. Their end results can be vastly different from each other as well. Or are business taxes (rates) so high in the city center, that no local business can afford a store of its own (at least if it wants its prices to be competitive). Take a stroll down the high street of most cities in the UK. You'll see Vodafone, next to Costa, next to Poundland, next to Card Factory, next to a Boots pharmacy, next to an EE mobile phone store, next to a charity shop, you get the idea. It's not all doom and gloom. Occasionally you might find a locally-owned cafe, pub or restaurant, or a quality attraction like the Shakespeare museum and giftshop in Stratford-Upon-Avon. The situation is similar in other cities in Europe, North America and Asia. Replace Costa with Starbucks in North America, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Asia, you get the idea. Is anyone else noticing a trend?

    Another factor to consider is the increasing threat of the mass homogenization of food cultures, a trend noted by the expert panelists we surveyed in our 2019 State of the Food Travel Industry report. Given the fact that authenticity is the #1 motivator for food-loving travelers, a local high street (main street) featuring Costa and Starbucks, for example, is not going to motivate any food- or drink-loving traveler to visit, despite how elated the locals might be at the offering. People travel for many different reasons, e.g. to visit friends and relatives; to attend business meetings; to attend a conference or trade show; for sightseeing; for theater and shopping; for adventure and recreation; and of course, for food and drink. What happens if the destination's authentic offerings are decimated or eliminated? Then suddenly, the destination is no longer of interest to influential food- and drink-loving travelers. In such an instance, we would say that the destination is nearing, or at the end of, its food tourism destination life cycle. Literally all of the expert panelists we surveyed in the report all agreed that “providing an authentic experience to visitors” is a critical goal of food tourism, and 97% felt that “protecting local heritage through food and drink” is also an important goal of food tourism.

    Destinations seeking to attract food lovers need to look at the quality and uniqueness of what is on offer. If the items for sale in a market are mass produced trinkets and copies of touristy souvenirs, then there is little to no appeal. Similarly, if the only foods that we can find are those sold anywhere else on the planet, then there is no incentive to travel to your destination because of the food or drink. On the other hand, if those same Etsy-style local craftspeople and artisanal style food and drink producers were encouraged, and incentivized, to take a stall at the market, there would be a significant reason for locals and visitors alike to come and visit the market, at any time of year.

    Food for thought.

    Read This on My Medium Channel

  • Erik Wolf posted an article
    Just Released! Podcast Episode 16: Chantal Cooke - Stop Listening to Other People see more

    Just released! Our latest episode #16 of Eat Well Travel Better: The Business of Food Travel Podcast, featuring Chantal Cooke.

    In this episode, join us as we speak with Chantal Cooke, publisher of Passion for the Planet, and a noted influencer on the subjects of sustainability, and vegetarian and vegan travel. She hosts the Passion for the Planet website and online radio station. Chantal shares with us her thoughts on how and why food-loving travelers are changing their diets and why she thinks you should stop listening to the advice of others.

     

    In this episode you'll learn:

    • How the food tourism industry is behind the times, and why you are missing an important opportunity
    • Why more people than ever are looking for meat-free dishes
    • How traditions move on (and rightly so)
    • How vegetarian food can also please meat-eaters
    • Why restaurant and hotel chefs are actually being prevented by their owners from innovating with vegetarian and vegan cuisine
    • Why we should stop listening to others and start listening more to ourselves

    LISTEN NOW

     

  • Erik Wolf posted an article
    Latest episode! Eat Well Travel Better: The Business of Food Travel Podcast featuring Alison Burgh see more

    Just released! Our latest episode #14 of Eat Well Travel Better: The Business of Food Travel Podcast, featuring Alison Burgh.

    In this episode, tourism development consultant Alison Burgh talks with us about the importance of cultivating a sense of community, why creating a unique and memorable experience is a critical part of getting food tourism right, and why you can't worry about doing what is expected of you. She cites examples in Jamaica and Belize to illustrate her points.

    In this episode you'll learn:

    • Why developing a sense of community is critical in food tourism
    • Why creating a unique and memorable experience is a critical part of getting food tourism right
    • Why you can't worry about doing what is expected of you - just follow your heart

    LISTEN NOW