food travel

  • Erik Wolf posted an article
    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.

    GET ACCESS NOW

  • Erik Wolf posted an article
    Top reasons to attend FoodTreX London | Food Travel Innovation Summit on November 3 see more

    Now in its second year - the FoodTreX London | Food Travel Innovation Summit taking place on Sunday, November 3.

    This is the day before World Travel Market begins, for those of you attending that event.

    We know there are a lot of conferences vying for your attention. We've compiled a list of the top reasons why you should choose FoodTreX London on November 3:
     

    1. New information.  The content is about innovation in food tourism, and NOT a repeat of what you've seen or heard elsewhere. Also, the content you'll hear at FoodTreX will not be repeated at World Travel Market. 
    2. New ideas.  New information helps you to think of new ideas to help you get or stay ahead. You need new ideas to grow your business.
    3. Quality networking.  Meet leading food travel industry influencers. Introduce yourself, present your business, create new partnerships.
    4. Intimate setting.  Our goal is quality not quantity. Ticket sales are limited. And in an intimate group, it's easier to meet the people you want.
    5. Convenience.  Piggybacked with World Travel Market. No need to spend extra money or time on another trip.
    6. Food Travel Matters. 93% of visitors engage in some kind of unique or memorable food/drink experience other than eating out. Don't be left out of this profitable market segment.
    7. Food Travel is Changing. You can't just put a list of restaurants on your website or organize a food event.  You need to know who to reach out to, and how to do it in order to be as effective as possible and capture more customers or visitors.
    8. Concurrent Research Summit. This year we're hosting the FoodTrex Food Travel Research Summit at the same time. Attend both summits for the same price!
    9. Quality Content. FoodTreX stands for "Food Travel Excellence". 
    10. Affordable. While other London conferences cost in the £695-795 per day range, we don't think quality education and networking should have to cost that much. FoodTrex registration will be less than £395 (+VAT).


    Come join us for great information, great networking and a lot of fun! Remember, FoodTreX won't be recorded so you'll need to attend in person if you want access to this fantastic content! 

    Sign Up for Event Announcements

  • Jane Connelly posted an article
    FoodTreX Thessaloniki Regional Food Travel Summit see more

    Getting Ready For FoodTreX Thessaloniki 

    The World Food Travel Association is pleased to announce that its FoodTreX Thessaloniki | Regional Food Travel Summit, will be held on October 7, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency in Thessaloniki, Greece.  FoodTrex Thessaloniki is an entire Summit dedicated to the discussion of the development of Food Tourism in Greece. 


    The Summit's main organizers are Maria Athanasopoulou from Respond On Demand and Chrissa Krassa from Top Tourism who are certified ambassadors in Greece for the World Food Travel Association,  the world's leading authority on food tourism.
     

    In its second year, FoodTreX Thessaloniki offers its audience diverse sessiones on the development of gastronomic tourism in Greece and how it can be achieved through proven branding, marketing and storytelling practices.  Each session will be presented by prestigious international speakers, along with the keynote speaker Erik Wolf, the founder of the World Food Travel Association and they will share their personal and professional knowledge and experience. A small exhibition of Greek traditional products and private tasting events (Test The Taste) will also be held during the Summit.  All presentations will be in English language. Admission to the public is free of charge, but registration is required.


    The program, as well as an attendance pre-registration form may be found HERE.  


    Sponsors include Ellinair and Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki.

    Want more information? Contact Maria at toptourismcompany@gmail.com

  • Jane Connelly posted an article
    6 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.

     

     

  • Jane Connelly posted an article
    For aspiring food tourism, culinary tourism & gastronomy tourism destinations. see more

    10 Step Guide To Food Tourism Destination Development
    - Food Tourism Made Easy

    The much anticipated 10-Step Guide To Food Tourism Destination Development is now ready. Please note that by "food tourism", we also mean culinary tourism, beverage tourism, gastronomy tourism and turismo gastronómico. This Guide serves everyone involved in our industry, including destinations, governments, travel agencies, tour operators, tourist guides, and all other small business owners who are vital to the development or survival of a Food Lover's Destination.

    In the Guide, we’ve outlined herein the basic steps you need to follow to either develop your emerging food-lover destination, or to refine the steps that you are already taking as an existing food-lovers’ destination. As you have come to expect from the world's leading authority on food and beverage tourism, the Guide is written in plain everyday language, without confusing tables of data, boring graphs or hard-to-understand terminology. The Guide is easy to understand and implement for destinations of every size, located anywhere in the world.

     

    Download your copy HERE.

  • 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.

     

  • Jane Connelly posted an article
    World Food Travel Association is supporting Make Holidays Greener 2019 see more

    The World Food Travel Association is helping to spread the word about sustainable food production and waste management by supporting one of the world’s largest responsible travel campaigns: Make Holidays Greener.

     

    ABTA’s Make Holidays Greener campaign will launch on 5 June, World Environment Day, and will run until the end of September.  After the success of last year’s ‘Say no to plastic’ theme, this year’s theme — ‘Reduce, reuse and recycle’ — will continue to address plastic as well as broader waste management, including food waste, across the travel industry.

     

    Make Holidays Greener encourages holidaymakers and the industry to create better places for locals to live in, and better places for holidaymakers to visit.

     

    The campaign, which is organised in partnership with Travelife for Accommodation, is show-casing ‘Reduce, reuse, recycle’ case studies from the travel industry all over the world. Examples from the food travel sector might include reducing food waste, eliminating single-use plastic in restaurants or innovative recycling initiatives. 

     

    Make Holidays Greener also encourages the industry to invite holidaymakers to make greener holiday pledges. There are 15 customer pledges to choose from including ‘Reduce, reuse, recycle’, ‘Go meat free’ and ‘Eat local’.  A support-pack with suggested social media activity and a ‘Reduce, reuse, recycle’ infographic is available at https://makeholidaysgreener.com/industry/resources/

     

    ABTA welcomes industry case studies from the World Food Travel Association members and encourages them to use their influence to promote holidaymakers to make a greener holiday pledge. For more information please go to https://makeholidaysgreener.com/

     

  • Jane Connelly posted an article
    Just Released! Podcast Episode #21 - John Mulcahy - Don't Ask for Permission, Ask for Forgiveness see more

    Podcast Episode #21 - John Mulcahy - Don't Ask for Permission, Ask for Forgiveness

    In this episode #21, we speak with John Mulcahy, a hospitality and food tourism tourism professional from Ireland. John has packed a lot into forty years - studying, observing, and participating in the tourism and hospitality industry as a student, employee, employer, owner, lecturer and public servant, largely in Ireland, but also in the USA, the UK, & the Middle East.

    In this episode you'll learn:

    • How to be part of the solution not part of the problem
    • Why you should take the road less traveled and don't be afraid where it leads. You'll surprise yourself.
    • Not to be scared to make mistakes; it's the only way to learn
    • To follow your heart and the money will follow after.
    • That it's OK to chase the money for a short while, but have a Plan B.
    • Why you should not ask for permission, rather for forgiveness
    • How the benefits of food tourism ripple out to all areas of the economy.
    • Why providers should not focus on creating just a product. Instead, they should create an experience. (This is similar to our Association's long-standing quote, "Serve a memory, not a meal).

     

    Explore Our Other Podcast Episodes

     

    LISTEN NOW TO EPISODE 21:

     

  • 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.

  • 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
    Just Released! Podcast Episode #20 - Wojtek Osinski - There's No Hiding Behind the Internet see more

    In this episode #20, we speak with Wojtek Osinski, a refugee from a multinational food manufacturing corporation, where he worked for 20 long years. It’s no surprise that after that much time, one acquires a lot of knowledge, information and experience. The time had come when Wojtek knew this was no longer the place for him. So he went back to his passions, which were food and travel, and focused full-time on his Taste Poland food travel blog, which he had been managing for 6 years. In addition to this noteworthy beacon of where to eat and drink in Poland, Wojtek advises food, beverage and tourism small to medium enterprises how to weave through the myriad complexities of business operations, from sales, to marketing, to strategy and service. Today the cause Wojtek is most passionate about is the globalization of culinary cultures, which is why he continues to do what he does.

    In this episode you'll learn:

    • Why food culture makes us unique
    • How greed is a “four letter word” and is destroying food cultures.
    • Why you have to deliver a consistently excellent experience; there is no hiding behind the internet.
    • Why people crave authenticity and human connection – that’s why companies exist to match travelers to hosts to share meals in homes.
    • That business owners overlook the customer journey, but it’s one of the most critical things for you to understand to meet customer expectations.

     

    Explore Our Other Podcast Episodes


    LISTEN NOW TO EPISODE 20:

     

  • 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
    Meet Max Thammaraks, the World Food Travel Association's newest Ambassador in Thailand see more

    The World Food Travel Association is pleased to announce our newest Ambassador, Max Thammaraks, from Thailand.  

    Max was well travelled from a young age; taking holidays and studying abroad from early childhood. His family owns Intco, a bespoke travel business and handling agents for international tour companies, now in its fifth decade of operation. Since taking the helm of the business in 2008, Max has expanded its scope, reach and services to meet the needs of today’s travellers, most recently focusing on food tourism and custom catering. He serves as the company's Managing Director.

    “Wherever I go, food and drinks are an integral part of my travel experience,” said Max, a bon vivant, of his passion for food and wines. “Food is of importance to each and every culture and can be instrumental in allowing a visitor to get a taste of a culture and destination.”

    Max a certified sommelier who owns a few resorts and restaurants across Thailand. Among them is renowned Wine Casa, an Italian restaurant and wine bar in the family hotel, The Legend Chiang Rai Boutique River Resort & Spa, in Northern Thailand, as well as holding shares in numerous restaurants in Bangkok. “Food, beverages and travel have been my lifelong passion; I grew up with it and therefore I want to promote it and be involved in any way possible.”

    We sat down with Max and asked him a few questions about himself, his passions and his plans. Here is what he shared:

    WFTA: Max, what does your company Intco do?

    Max:  We are a premier travel agency with decades of expertise. We specialize in bespoke programs which are tailored to each group’s specific needs.  

    WFTA: When and how did your interest in food/beverage tourism begin?

    Max: I have always had personal interest in food, beverages and travel. Whenever I travel and wherever I go, I find food and drinks to be an integral part of the experience. Food is of importance to each and every culture and can be instrumental in allowing a visitor to get a taste of a culture and destination. As a rule of thumb in wine, “what grows together, goes together”, I find exploring each unique location’s produce, cuisine and beverages fascinating and of course fun; whether it be wine, beer, cocktails or coconut juice. 

    WFTA: What are your favorite food/beverage destinations and why do you like them?

    Max: Bangkok is the epicenter of Thai cuisine where you can find representations from all of Thailand’s culinary regions. What is extraordinary is the sheer diversity which you can find in every corner of the city, ranging from amazing street food stalls to the river market; from Michelin stared restaurants to the best China town in the world with over 200 years of history. Bangkok is also where all the abundant resources from all over Thailand come together in the local markets and restaurants. Of late this has become more and more recognised internationally, as Bangkok’s dining scene is becoming increasingly renowned for its gourmet restaurants and extraordinary bars.

    As a fan of French food and wine, Lyon is my food Mecca. It’s hard for me to pick just a couple of gourmet cities, since there are more than a dozen that I love. But if I must, I would have to pick Lyon as France's best gastronomic secret. Lyon is home, or nearby neighbor, to some of France’s finest produce - fish, chicken, pork, cheese, game, meats. It is there that I find joy in the simplest pleasures. A humble bistro and brasserie may pair exquisite local meats and cheeses with a delicious wine from Rhone to create a memorable experience. (If you were to ask my wife, I usually get a bit excited and over indulge whenever I land in Lyon.) While the cuisine often appears simplistic, it is honed to perfection through centuries of passion and on closer inspection, is as cutting edge and sophisticated as any nouvelle cuisine to be found in Paris.  

    And then San Diego – it is the breeze, the sunshine and the cool vibes of the city which is celebrated in its cuisine. The seafood is fresh, abundant and delicious. It is the capital of craft beer in the U.S and the local wine scene is very interesting with organic wines from the area sitting side by side on the shelf with Mexican wines. Being by the border, the Mexican food there is the best and most authentic in the States. San Diego is also jam packed with exciting districts such as the Glaslamp Quarter, where there are fun activities and cool people to meet all day and all night. 

    WFTA: Why did you join the World Food Travel Association?

    Max: Food, beverages and travel have been my lifelong passion; I grew up with it and therefore I want to promote it and be involved in any way possible.  I enjoy meeting with similar minds and learning from them of their food journey and what they have done on their home turf and hopefully I can find inspiration to do something similar with my mine.

    WFTA: What can we expect to see next from you or your company? Do you have an upcoming milestone that you would like to share?

    Max: I want to expand my company into the food and travel business. We want to further establish ourselves in the catering business and one-of-a-kind food tours. 

    WFTA: What advice do you have for prospective members of the Association? Why should they join?

    Max: The association is well established and has a solid plan to expand in the future. Plus you will meet many great minds in the food and travel business. 

    WFTA: When you hear the phrase “authentic Thai” what comes to mind?

    Max: Nothing is set in stone, nor black and white in Thailand’s rich and varied food scape. There is no absolute, no rigid rule and no definitive text book to follow. Like many other of the world’s great cuisines, Thai cuisine is complex, varied, regional, traditional as well as progressive. And that is what makes it special and exciting; its ability to adapt and adopt. The truth is that many Thai dishes are reinterpreted foreign imports: my favorite ‘krapao kai’ (chicken with Thai basil) originated in China, while some of my favorite desserts were introduced to our Royal courts by the wife of a Portuguese Ambassador over four centuries ago. Thai cuisine as we know it is exciting and constantly changing, never afraid of experimentation, taking chances and being creative.    

    Welcome, Max. We look forward to hearing more stories from you about Thailand. Interested parties can get in touch with Max through his website here.