Community Spotlight: Aashi Vel see more
Community Spotlight: Aashi Vel
Join us as we sit down with Aashi Vel, founder of Traveling Spoon and co-host of the Association's Eat Well Travel Better: Business of Food Travel Podcast.
First off please introduce who you are and share with us how and why you got involved in food/beverage tourism.
I was an industrial designer for 11 years designing and developing life-changing medical and consumer products. Helping people, in this case, improving the quality of their lives through devices like a portable liquid oxygen generator or a more effective catheter, brings me happiness. My passion, however, has always been food and travel - in fact, I got my MBA in order to start a food company. A few months before starting business school at Berkely, I traveled to the Yucatan in Mexico. I struggled to find authentic Mexican food amidst the chic but overcrowded, touristy restaurants. On my way to one of these restaurants, I passed by a woman's home and saw her cooking through the window. That's when I realized that what I really wanted was to eat with her and taste her authentic, homemade Mexican food while hearing her stories. I started Traveling Spoon to give travelers these kinds of authentic and cultural experiences. It brings me immense joy to have a meaningful impact, not only on travelers but also on our hosts that are enabled to become micro-entrepreneurs, earning an income doing what they love.
Next we would love to know what your company does, its mission, vision, etc.
Traveling Spoon provides travelers with private and authentic food experiences, from homemade meals to cooking classes, in people's homes around the world. Our mission is to make travel meaningful. We give travelers a chance to see how locals live, eat what they eat and share stories about each other. This I believe is the power of travel - to be able to connect with someone from another culture and feel like you’ve made a friend. Our vision is for every traveler to have an authentic food experience, at least once on every trip.
We are sure that you have many, but if you had to choose just one, what would be your favorite food/beverage travel experience?
One of my favorite food travel memories was when I visited our host Dewa in Bali. It was a magical experience that was truly the highlight of my trip, and it was about so much more than just the food. I loved walking through the garden which was filled with the most incredible exotic fruit trees and herbs. My favorite moment was when Dewa pointed out the papaya tree in his garden. I looked up and saw a bright, perfectly ripe papaya and asked Dewa what it was still doing up on the tree and why we were not eating it! He responded, "Aashi, in Balinese culture we only take what we need for the day. This morning there were two papayas – we took one and left the other one for the monkeys to spread the seed." I felt humbled witnessing their deep respect for nature. My experience discovering the regional plants, cooking with the family, grinding curry pastes from scratch, learning about their culture and finally eating the delicious meal (best meal I had in Bali) that I helped prepare made me so grateful to be building Traveling Spoon and providing travelers with these meaningful food experiences.
Finally we would like to look ahead towards the future. Our industry is growing and changing quickly, from your experience and perspective can you predict any food & beverage travel trends for the future?
I'm already seeing travelers explore regions outside mainstream travel destinations and it makes me so excited that people are interested in the unique foods of those regions. New producer tours, from fish sauce making in Phu Quoc to vinegar tasting in the Philippines, will be more sought after. Incorporating more plant-based foods and protein is another trend that I see in the food world which is not only environmentally-friendly and healthy but also more humane. Lastly, of course, more immersive, cultural experiences over food in people's homes is how I believe travelers will experience food on their journeys!
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.
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/
Erik Wolf posted an articleHelp developing Gastronomy Tourism in Greece see more
Do you want to do more with gastronomy tourism in Greece?
Greek Online Courses about Food Tourism!
Want to get involved professionally to Gastronomy tourism? Before doing anything else, check out our complimentary short courses below! Do you want to know where to start ? Are you curious about Greece's role on the global scene of gastronomic tourism? Do you want to find out how Gastronomic tourism is developing in Greece today? Do you want to learn how you can capitalize on this rising business segment? Watch today our two free online courses. offered in the Greek language by the World Food Travel Association and Maria Athanasopoulou, an Ambassador of the WFTA in Greece.
Ελληνικά online courses για το Γαστρονομικό τουρισμό
Θέλετε να ασχοληθείτε επαγγελματικά με το Γαστρονομικό τουρισμό? Πριν κάνετε οτιδήποτε άλλο, ενημερωθείτε σχετικά! Θέλετε να μάθετε από πού πρέπει να αρχίσετε? Θέλετε να γνωρίσετε κάποιες παραπάνω λεπτομέρειες για το ρόλο της Ελλάδας στην παγκόσμια σκηνή του γαστρονομικού τουρισμού? Θέλετε να δείτε πως αναπτύσσεται ο Γαστρονομικός τουρισμός στην Ελλάδα σήμερα? Θέλετε να μάθετε αν είναι ένας ανερχόμενος επιχειρηματικά τομέας? Παρακολουθήστε σήμερα δυο δωρεάν online courses στα ελληνικά, από την ambassador της WFTA στην Ελλάδα, Μαρία Αθανασοπούλου - H Μαρία Αθανασοπούλου είναι ambassador της World Food Travel Association στην Ελλάδα:
1. Gastronomic tourism and Greece
1. Γαστρονομικός Τουρισμός και Ελλάδα
by World Food Travel Association & Maria Athanasopoulou
2. The Role of Greece On the World Stage of Gastronomic Tourism
2. Ο Ρόλος Της Ελλάδας Στην Παγκόσμια Σκηνή Του Γαστρονομικού Τουρισμού
by World Food Travel Association & Maria Athanasopoulou