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.
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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.
World Food Travel Association posted an articleJoin 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.
Remarks of the First International Congress of Gastronomic Tourism Navarra 22-23 February 2018 see more
Just a couple of weeks ago, the World Food Travel Association (WFTA) supported a national gastronomy tourism conference in Spain. Attending the conference were Jose Maria de Juan Alonso (pictured below) and Wojtek Osinski, both members of the WFTA's Board of Advisors. Also representing the WFTA in Navarre was Gloria Rodriguez, one of the WFTA's Ambassadors. Following below in both English and Spanish are remarks and conclusions prepared by Jose Maria de Juan Alonso.
Remarks of the First International Congress of Gastronomic Tourism Navarra, 22-23 February 2018
The Congress has been a clear example of the growing trend of gastronomic tourism, both nationally and internationally. The collaboration of the World Food Travel Association and other international institutions has resulted in a cosmopolitan, diverse and enriching congress that shows and consolidates a bright future of gastronomic tourism for Navarra, and for Spain.
Faced with the model of low-cost tourism that is widespread, food is once again an attraction for millennials and new generations, who in turn ask for increasingly authentic and personalized experiences (food is sexy again!).
We have to enhance the Spanish culture of hospitality as a differential value, recovering patterns of professionalism and quality of employment that are also part of our gastronomic identity.
Taking advantage of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, we must show the value of gastronomy as a cultural resource, including wine and other beverages identified as gastronomic heritage.
We need to pay attention to the environmental concerns of an increasing amount of demand, which includes: the reduction of food waste, animal welfare, the trend towards organic production and products of proximity. This was the point made by "Zero Positive Protocol" for restaurants, presented by the Università della Cucina Mediterránea,, or the Erasmus + T4F project (Training in sustainable food for development, within the framework of the European social economy), presented by ESHOB (Barcelona) .
It is important to understand that there is much more we can do beyond creating gastronomic activities. We must create experiences, increasing the emotional factors and the memorable consequences depending on specific tourist profiles.
The biodiversity of the raw material, together with a strong claim to cultural identity and culinary difference, explains the success and positioning of destinations such as Peru and Japan, and it becomes an inspiration for the rest of the gastronomic destinations.
The project "The landscapes of the Sierra de Madrid sit at the table", puts on the spotlight the value of the identity of the territory, the quality of the product, the passion of the producer and the wisdom of the cook. These are the four fundamental pillars to create and position gastronomic tourism in a destination, just as the project has been presented to the market at FITUR 2018, with its circuits already ready to be commercialized, based on the Sierra de Guadarrama and the Sierra Norte from Madrid.
The passion for culinary innovation should not make us forget the tradition, since the return to tradition turns out to be paradoxically the greatest of the vanguards.
The technological advances to attract gastronomic tourists are very intense; but it is necessary to invest more in developing personalized, segmented and original content, prepared for digital formats.
We have to remember that what turns a gastronomic destination into an intelligent one is not just the accumulation of technology; but the balanced combination of: technological innovation, personal experiences of high impact, and management of sustainability.
The large online booking platforms are also increasingly aware that the key to their future success lies in the high quality content and storytelling, which are essential in the choice of culinary destination.
It is necessary to find the tools that allow adequate communication and promotion of the kitchen and cooks; which are adapted to the particular knowledge, seasons, schedules and work spaces of these professionals.
The data presented on the demand for gastronomic tourism in Spain, shows that as the tourist’s knowledge specializes and diversifies, their degree of satisfaction tends to be higher; demanding products that are increasingly personalized and intense in emotions. This leads us to an enormous and immediate challenge in innovation, specialization and diversification in gastronomic tourism products.
We need more unified market intelligence to be able to advance in gastronomic tourism product design. This in turn will allow us to make informed marketing decisions and adapt the products to each of the segments; from the seniors or "silvers" to the new generations of young, hedonistic and responsible gourmets.
We have to avoid the crowds and commodification of the tourist-gastronomic experience. We must thematise and interpret gastronomic heritage, to avoid the risk of damaging the tourist experience and loss of identity.
We can take advantage of the demand from the large emitting markets that have a deep culinary culture, while on the other hand we create culinary culture and awareness in new markets and new segments that will feed our gastronomic tourism in the future.
We must also thank the tremendous passion that we have seen in this congress from the agri-food producers, who bring us the voice of the land that is where everything is born.
José María de Juan Alonso
Director of KOAN Consulting, collaborating entity of the Congress, in conjunction with the World Food Travel Association (WFTA), which he represents in Spain as a member of its Board of Advisors. At the conference, he provided professional advice, in addition to moderating the round table on "The perspective of the tourist."
Conclusiones del I Congreso Internacional de Turismo Gastronómico Navarra, 22-23 de febrero 2018
El Congreso ha sido una clara muestra del creciente empuje del turismo gastronómico, tanto en los ámbitos nacional como internacional. La colaboración de la World Food Travel Association y de otras instituciones internacionales se ha traducido en un congreso cosmopolita, diverso y enriquecedor, que muestra y consolida un brillante futuro del turismo gastronómico para Navarra y para España.
Frente al modelo de turismo low cost que se generaliza, la comida vuelve a ser un atractivo para los millennials y las nuevas generaciones, que piden a cambio experiencias cada vez más auténticas y personalizadas (food is sexy again!).
Tenemos que potenciar la cultura española de la hostelería como un valor diferencial, recuperando patrones de profesionalidad y de calidad del empleo que forman parte también de nuestra identidad gastronómica.
Aprovechando el Año Europeo del Patrimonio Cultural 2018, tenemos que reivindicar el valor de la gastronomía como recurso cultural, incluyendo el vino y las demás bebidas de forma indisoluble con este patrimonio gastronómico.
Necesitamos prestar atención a las preocupaciones ambientales de una cantidad cada vez mayor de la demanda, lo que incluye entre otros factores: la reducción del desperdicio alimentario, el bienestar animal, la tendencia a la producción ecológica y los productos de proximidad; así nos lo han orientado el “Protocolo Zero Positivo” para restaurantes presentado por la Università della Cucina Mediterránea, o el proyecto Erasmus+ T4F (Formación en alimentación sostenible para el desarrollo, en el marco de la economía social europea) presentado por ESHOB (Barcelona).
Es importante recorrer el camino desde la mera actividad hacia la experiencia gastronómica, aumentando los factores emocionales y las consecuencias memorables en función de perfiles de turista específicos.
La biodiversidad de la materia prima, unida a una fuerte reivindicación de la identidad cultural y la diferencia culinaria, explica el éxito y posicionamiento de destinos como Perú y Japón, y sirve de inspiración para el resto de los destinos gastronómicos.
El proyecto “Los paisajes de la Sierra de Madrid se sientan a la mesa”, nos ha reivindicado el valor de la identidad del territorio, la calidad del producto, la pasión del productor y la sabiduría del cocinero. Éstos son los cuatro pilares fundamentales para crear y posicionar el turismo gastronómico en un destino, tal como se ha presentado el proyecto al mercado en FITUR 2018, con sus circuitos ya listos para ser comercializados, basados en la Sierra de Guadarrama y en la Sierra Norte de Madrid.
La pasión por la innovación culinaria no debe hacernos olvidar la tradición, ya que la vuelta a la tradición resulta ser paradójicamente la mayor de las vanguardias.
Los avances tecnológicos para captar turistas gastronómicos son muy intensos; pero es necesario invertir más en desarrollar contenidos personalizados, segmentados y originales, preparados para los formatos digitales.
Tenemos que recordar que lo que convierte a un destino gastronómico en inteligente no es solamente la acumulación de tecnología; sino la combinación equilibrada de: innovación tecnológica, experiencias personales de alto impacto y gestión de la sostenibilidad.
Las grandes plataformas de reservas on line son también cada vez más conscientes de que la clave de su éxito futuro está en los contenidos y storytelling de alta calidad, que son esenciales en la elección del destino gastronómico.
Es necesario encontrar las herramientas que permitan la comunicación y promoción adecuadas de la cocina y los cocineros; las cuales se adapten a los particulares saberes, temporadas, horarios y espacios de trabajo de estos profesionales.
A la luz de los datos presentados sobre la demanda de turismo gastronómico en España, es claro que este turista se especializa y diversifica, y que su grado de satisfacción tiende a ser elevado; exigiendo al mismo tiempo un producto cada vez más personalizado e intenso en emociones. Ello nos lleva a un enorme e inmediato reto en innovación, especialización y diversificación en producto turístico gastronómico.
Necesitamos más inteligencia de mercado unificada para poder avanzar en producto turístico gastronómico, la cual permita tomar decisiones de marketing muy bien informadas y adaptar los productos a cada uno de los segmentos; desde los seniors o “silvers” a las nuevas generaciones de jóvenes gourmets hedonistas y responsables.
Tenemos que evitar masificaciones y banalizaciones de la experiencia turístico-gastronómica, centrándonos en la demanda y no solo en el producto o el territorio; tematizando e interpretando el patrimonio gastronómico, para evitar el riesgo de dañar la experiencia turística y de perder identidad.
Podemos aprovechar la demanda de los grandes mercados emisores que cuentan con alta cultura gastronómica, mientras por otro lado creamos cultura y conciencia gastronómicas en nuevos mercados y nuevos segmentos que alimentarán nuestro turismo gastronómico en el futuro.
Tenemos que dar también las gracias a la tremenda pasión que hemos visto en este congreso en los productores agroalimentarios presentes, que nos traen en vivo la voz de la tierra que es donde nace todo.
José María de Juan Alonso
Director de KOAN Consulting, entidad colaboradora del Congreso, en conjunto con la WFTA-World Food Travel Association, a la que representa en España como miembro de su Consejo de Asesores. Ha llevado a cabo la asesoría científica y la relatoría del Congreso, además de moderar la mesa redonda sobre "La perspectiva del turista".
Meet Jane Connelly, our newest Ambassador, in Catalonia see more
The World Food Travel Association is pleased to announce our newest Certified Ambassador, residing in Catalonia, Jane Connelly. Jane is American and has been living in Spain for 7 years. We got together with Jane to get to know her better.
Jane is a Seattle native whose hungry stomach and passion for a career in food tourism led her to Spain. Although she is relatively new to the food tourism industry. She is not short of excitement to kick off her career as an active member in the WFTA community. "My interest in food tourism started at a very young age, but it really came to light when I spent time living in Mexico and afterwards, in southern Spain," shared Jane. Her time abroad provided her with the insight of the importance and value that food and beverage can have on a traveler's overall understanding of a culture and experience there.
Jane's favorite food/beverage destinations are Spain, Thailand and the Pacific Northwest of the United States/southwestern Canada. She has enjoyed meals in every region in Spain (and it's understandably impossible for her to choose a favorite among them). "Each region is rich in exquisite local products, tasteful dishes, and unique food cultures." Jane has fond memories of Chang Mai, Thailand, its popular dish “Khao Soi” and the unforgettable night market packed with mouth watering street food. Finally, Jane cannot ignore her native Pacific Northwest region of the United States. She reminisces, "Here you find products such as wild salmon, Dungeness crab, and other fresh seafood. Also available are game meats, wild mushrooms and an assortment of delicate and delicious berries. The Pacific Northwest region is full of foodie destinations that will entice you, from enjoying fresh oysters, to sushi, or a nice cold craft beer." Jane also shared an honorable mention: Querétaro, Mexico. "You just have to go!" she says. We can't wait to taste of ourselves.
Jane is strong believer of food and travel as a mechanism for sustainable tourism and economic growth. Whether it is promoting local foodways, products or simply educating fellow travelers. Food, travel and sustainability go hand in hand. "That's why I chose to become part of the World Food Travel Association family," she recounts.
"This is only the beginning; you will be seeing more of me in the future!" Welcome, Jane!