Top 3 Takeaways from the 2019 FoodTreX Online Food Travel Summit see more
The World Food Travel Association just held its 2019 FoodTreX Online Food Travel Summit on April 17-18. FoodTreX Online is the world’s largest virtual trade conference for the food and beverage tourism trade, taking place every April, and only online. This year’s edition featured nine international expert speakers across a variety of industries that addressed today’s hot topics that destinations, tour operators and other food, beverage or tourism businesses are facing today.
Here are the top 3 takeaways that you need to know from the 2019 FoodTreX Online Summit:
1. YOU CAN MAKE MONEY SELLING VEGETARIAN AND VEGAN OPTIONS
Did you know that as much at 33% of travelers are either vegetarian or vegan? If you don’t offer a good vegetarian selection, you are neglecting many travelers as well as their traveling companions! Also, plant-based menu options are almost always cheaper than meat. Your food costs might be half, and even if you charge $/€/£ 1 or 2 less for the item, you're still making a lot more per dish! So you are actually making money by offering vegetarian options. And meat eaters eat vegetables too, so it is not uncommon for a meat eater to order a vegetarian dish. Meat is not required! Then consider how sustainable-minded travelers are exactly the kind of visitors a destination wants: they tend to spend more, stay longer, and of course care about their own personal impact as travelers. It’s time to reconsider vegetarian and vegan!
2. WHERE ARE YOU IN THE FOOD TOURISM DESTINATION LIFE CYCLE?
All destinations have a food tourism destination life cycle (see picture above), a concept first pioneered by the World Food Travel Association. It is important to know at what stage of the cycle your destination is currently in so you can plan accordingly. Some destinations are starting to find their own way with food tourism, while others are starting to decline, for a variety of reasons. Perhaps it is time to create or to update your Food Tourism Destination Strategy before it is too late. (By the way: we can help with that!)
3. SHARE THE LOVE. DON’T HOG THE SOCIAL MEDIA SPOTLIGHT.
Shine the light on your local culinary heroes instead of just on your destination or specific foods. Sharing other people’s stories in your area widens your audience and brings engagement. Also don’t forget to involve local experts like writers, commentators or photographers. These professionals can bring new ideas and perspectives to your social media feed. Have you ever thought of hosting an Instagram takeover? That’s right: you hand over the keys to your Instagram castle to someone outside of your organization, perhaps for a weekend. It may seem risky, the rewards can be tremendous.
Want to learn more? You can get access to all the recordings as well as our 11-page Key Takeaways PDF in our online store here.
Want to see who spoke at FoodTreX Online before ordering? Download the program here.
Jane Connelly posted an article6 Ways to Improve Your Food Tourism Offering from the World Food Travel Association see more
6 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR FOOD TOURISM PRODUCTS
Learn how to take your business to the next level by improving the products and services you promote to food-loving travelers. Get our full infographic shown here for the top 6 things you need to know, as our industry experts identified in our 2019 State of the Food Travel Industry Report.
The Secret Weapon for Aspiring Culinary Destinations see more
While primary culinary destinations may find this article of interest, the article is written largely for the benefit of secondary and tertiary culinary destinations.
“We’re a food lover’s dream destination!” “We’ve got 180 different cuisines!” “We publish a comprehensive restaurant guide of the entire area.” “We’ve got a Starbucks.”
We’ve heard cries like these time and time again from destinations of all types and sizes. Just because your area has restaurants with multiple types of cuisines and a couple of breweries, does not mean that your destination is, or could be, a food-lover’s dream. And a restaurant guide and a Starbucks themselves aren’t travel motivators. As for whether your destination is a truly dream for food lovers, well, that is for the food lovers to decide!
When crafting a destination that will appeal to food lovers, there are two important ingredients to evaluate. The first is research, while the second is the culinary destination life cycle. In this article, we’ll look at research. Next time, we’ll look at the culinary destination life cycle.
Cash is the lifeblood of a business. Without cash, any kind of business will wither and die. Pretty simple math. Consequently, the business owner or manager is necessarily obsessed with sales. More revenue! More visitors! The company’s staff, and especially anyone in a sales role, gets tired of hearing the same pleas over and over. Similarly, travelers hate being bullied into buying more or being charged more.
How do we entice more visitors to try our destinations for high quality food and drink? Marketing decisions drive sales, but what drives the marketing decisions? Research.
In destination marketing, research can help us to discover a lot of different things such as the age range, income level and preferences of travelers who might be interested in our destination. But there is a problem with this kind of purely demographic information. Let’s say your research tells you that the type of traveler who would enjoy your destination is 30-40 years old, with one or no kids, earning €50,000-70,000 per year and who likes outdoor recreation as well as good food. What’s wrong with this picture? You’ve just described a huge percentage of travelers. And if you look at their preferences for good food and outdoor recreation, a very high percentage of the world’s tourist destinations could be a great fit. How does the data you’ve just gathered help to lure the ideal travel to your area? You need more precise data to help you to define your target markets. You don’t just need more research; you need a different type of research.
The laser scalpel in food tourism/culinary tourism/gastronomy tourism research is PsychoCulinary profiling. It’s a tool that our Association introduced in 2010, and which was honed to perfection since then. In a nutshell, PsychoCulinary profiling analyzes the buying behavior of food-loving travelers. It can explain why your friends love the new Italian restaurant down the street, while your family doesn’t care for it. It’s the same principle with destinations, namely, why some people rave about a place and other people return home without the same excitement.
There is another piece of the puzzle, however, and that is customization. Knowing how travelers think and make decisions is important and helpful. But what do you think would happen if you matched the wrong type of visitors to the wrong type of destination? For example, if your area is known for Michelin star restaurants, what would visitor exit surveys say if you marketed your area to food-loving novices? The comments would not be positive. Or if your area is known for food trucks, would Michelin-star seekers enjoy your destination? Unlikely. It’s like finding the right key to unlock the door. You’re trying to find the exactly right type of food lover who will love your destination, not just any destination. That’s how you get raving fans who return home and praise your area’s food and drink to friends like them.
To get this type of data, analysis is required, not just of the food-loving travelers, but also of the destination itself. You need quality research to make quality marketing decisions that will drive actual increased bookings. You may have heard the term market research before? That’s the market that is part of marketing.
As the world’s leading authority on food and beverage tourism, the World Food Travel Association has always led with firsts for our industry. We conducted the world’s first research study of American food-loving travelers in 2007, as well as the world’s first global study of food-loving travelers in 2010, which included our breakthrough PsychoCulinary profiling analysis. We followed with subsequent studies of American food-loving travelers in 2013 and another global study in 2016. Our research and data help destinations, governments and businesses to make sound decisions to woo successfully food- and beverage-loving travelers.
If you need data to help drive your strategy and marketing decisions, consider investing in our 2016 Food Travel Monitor report. Published in July 2016, less than 3 years ago, the data and conclusions from this report are still highly relevant. You can order a copy of the 342-page report for only US$395. The markets surveyed include Australia, China, France, Germany, Ireland, India, Italy, Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The 2016 report will be discontinued in November 2019 to make way for the 2020 report, the price of which has been set at US$995. Markets analyzed in the 2020 report will be Canada, China, France, India, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the United States. You can save US$600 by investing in the 2016 report today.
Both reports include the PsychoCulinary profiles of outbound food-loving travelers from those countries.
Order your copy of the 2016 Food Travel Monitor today before it's no longer available. Remember, the 2020 Report will be priced at US$995.
You can also subscribe to our newsletter here.
This article is the first in a series of articles designed for marketers and strategists for culinary and aspiring culinary destinations. Next time we’ll be taking a look at the culinary destination life cycle.
Just Released: The Routledge Handbook Of Gastronomic Tourism see more
We are excited to let you know that the newest addition to our industry's compendium of quality research is now available. The Routledge Handbook of Gastronomic Tourism combines the knowledge and expertise of 100+ scholars from 31 countries, and aims to foster a synergistic interaction between academia and industry. Its wealth of case studies and examples make it an essential resource for students, researchers and industry practitioners of hospitality, tourism, gastronomy, management, marketing, consumer behavior, business and cultural studies. It is edited by Dr. Saurabh Kumar Dixit, and the foreword was written by our Association's Executive Director Erik Wolf. Read more about the book here. If you are interested in purchasing, use the code FLR40 at checkout to save 20%.
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.
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.
Some of the key takeaways from the report include:
- 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.
- Providing a genuinely authentic product or experience is essential. Visitors are increasingly knowledgeable about, and demanding of, authenticity in food/drink products and experiences.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Jane Connelly posted an articleErik Wolf addresses FoodTreX London November 4 with State of the Food & Beverage Tourism Industry see more
Erik Wolf, founder of the food tourism industry and of the World Food Travel Association, will kick off the FoodTrex London | Food Travel Innovation Summit on Sunday, November 4, with a preview of findings from the Association's newest State of the Food & Beverage Tourism Report (publication date: January 2019).
The food tourism industry's founder and Executive Director of the World Food Travel Association will kick things off and set the tone for the Summit. Then he'll bring you up to speed with initial findings from research taking place right now, in anticipation of the Association's 2019 State of the Food & Beverage Travel Industry Report, which will be published in January 2019. FoodTreX London delegates will benefit by getting a preview and early access to the information, a full two months before its public release.
Learn how the food and beverage tourism industry is changing right before your eyes, and what you can do to prepare for the changes happening both right now and next year.
Speaker: Erik Wolf, Executive Director and Founder, World Food Travel Association
Session tags: food tourism, industry, trends, data, research, demographics, psychographics, strategy