World Food Travel Association

  • Erik Wolf posted an article
    Free 10-Step Foodservice Checklist to Reduce Food/Beverage Packaging Waste see more

    Today the World Food Travel Association announced the release of its free 10-Step Foodservice Guide and Checklist to Reduce Food/Beverage Packaging Waste. The checklist was developed in support of the Association's Food Tourism 2025 Initiative, one of the goals of which is to help trade and consumers alike, understand ways to help reduce the waste from plastic straws, plastic cutlery, plastic takeaway containers and plastic bags. 

    The volume of plastic waste created by food and beverage packaging has taxed the Earth's environment in ways beyond imagine, from baby seals eating styrofoam and dying, to plastic microbeads working their way into the fish we eat, to plastic packaging waste littering beaches, rivers, lakes and the ground, all around the planet. Pictured is plastic food and drink packaging waste on the shore of the Dead Sea in Jordan. Nothing ruins a holiday more than plastic garbage strewn everywhere. 

    As food and drink lovers, we have an obligation to reduce the volume of plastic food and beverage packaging that we use while on holiday. The current situation is simply not tolerable, and the World Food Travel Association is committed to doing our part to raise awareness. Firstly, we invite foodservice professionals and consumers alike to download our free 10-Step checklist offering suggestions and resources of ways to help them reduce their use of food and beverage plastic packaging. Not every business or community can implement all of the ways suggested, but reduction needs to start with the customers - either consumers who demand more responsible packaging, or business customers who refuse products not packaged in a responsible manner. And just because we may be on holiday does not mean we leave our recycling habits at home. We need to be as vigilant with our responsible behavior at home, as we are on holiday.

    Anyone who protests the cost to business or the economy needs to look further afield.  Sustainable replacements for plastic straws, cutlery, takeaway containers and bags already exist and when bought in bulk, do not necessarily cost more than the plastic products they replace. Secondly, we encourage governments to "think outside the box". It is not a far stretch to make the connection between investing in the manufacture of plastic alternatives and greater support of recycling centers and the boon to economic development. Working together, we can tackle this problem. It will be a win-win-win for food-loving consumers, foodservice businesses, and area governments.

    Read our GDPR policy.

  • Erik Wolf posted an article
    Evarist March discusses getting back to nature and how nature inspires cuisine see more

    Just released! Episode 11 of the Association's Eat Well, Travel Better: The Business of Food Travel podcast, featuring Evarist March.

    Evarist March is a lover of nature. He specializes in the knowledge of plants, fungi and algae and their usefulness for humans, which directly relates to their use in both traditional or contemporary gastronomy. He is a passionate guide, and admittedly somewhat eccentric, who works mainly in Catalonia. It is here where people interpret the natural environment and make the connection between (gastronomic) culture, its origins, place and people. Evarist loves to be surrounded by crazy cooks, naturalists and lovers of life. Learn more about Evarist and his company at NaturalWalks.

    In this episode you'll learn:

    1. Why it's important to have a connection to the food you eat.
    2. How nature can inspire cuisine
    3. Why it's important to preserve endemic culinary cultures.
    4. Why it's important to dream about your potential.
    5. How take inspiration from others to help you follow your own path.
    6. How to stay competitive when the price of products keeps going down.

    Resources mentioned in this episode:
    His company NaturalWalks


  • Erik Wolf posted an article
    Wellness Tourism: Creating Better Experiences, Increasing Revenue & Boosting Brands see more

    Wellness and food/beverage tourism have always run a parallel path, often overlapping. We're pleased to present the following article written by the World Food Travel Association (WFTA)'s certified ambassador Camille Hoheb. Camille serves as the Managing Director of Wellness Tourism Worldwide, which is a strategic partner of the WFTA. This article is reprinted with permission from the author and first appeared on

    Wellness Tourism: Creating Better Experiences, Increasing Revenue & Boosting Brands

    There’s no disputing that wellness has moved from a trendy travel category to an industry powerhouse, changing the way airports, airlines, hotels and destination marketers respond to customer’s physical and emotional needs and expectations. This article is based on previous research with important insights from other industry thought leaders along with a few new insights of my own. As a new travel category, it’s still evolving and being shaped; therefore this is a critical time for wellness tourism. How it is understood NOW, will have a lasting impact on how it is being developed and promoted, affecting consumers, businesses, destinations and their communities.

    Outdated Views of Wellness Tourism Require A New Perspective

    Recent articles suggest that spas provide fragmented and disconnected services with a cookie cutter approach to programs. “Wellness washing” has crept up as a threat by labeling products and services as wellness, when they are not, as was the case when a major spa marketing company touted “wellness deals” including bikini waxes and hair color.

    Prevailing definitions are already outdated. Take for example, “Wellness tourism is travel associated with the pursuit of maintaining one’s personal wellbeing” focusing on a single person, reinforcing one dimension, when in fact, wellness is multi-dimensional. Humans are social animals, requiring connection to thrive. Loneliness is now considered a great danger to personal health and a growing threat to community wellness. Wellness is about how we relate to ourselves, to others and to the planet.

    Introducing A New Definition Of Wellness Tourism

    To move away from an outdated self-centered approach in a manner that addresses wellness as fully-functioning in the world, I’d like to introduce a new definition of wellness tourism based on a year-long review of wellness concepts, positive psychology, motivation theory and achievement theory, first published in Wellness Travel: Shaping America’s Health & Economy.

    “Wellness tourism is purpose-driven travel to improve well-being in mind, body or spirit; encompassing discovery, connectivity, transformation and fulfillment promoting positive engagement between people, cultures and nature.” (Wellness Tourism Worldwide, 2014, 2017)

    Our research shows that emotional wellbeing is as important, if not more than physical health to wellness travelers which is consistent with CBRE’s report, Trends in the Hotel Spa Industry that shows spa treatments are being booked to offset stress.

    Better Conceptualization Offers Better Programs & Services

    This new definition provides an entirely new way of understanding wellness tourism in a more comprehensive way aligned with the multi-dimensionality of wellness – and – a better definition of wellness tourism can offer insight into maximizing hotel spa revenue by creating better products, experiences and promotions.

    Research shows purpose is a key to longevity and living well. Environmental speaks to protecting land, air and water quality as well as wildlife. Cultural wellness refers to having respect for diversity and way of life that extends to food, fashion, art, literature, architecture, language and other unique differentiators. While the previous example of wellness tourism didn’t specify other people and maintaining positive relationships, positive human interaction is central to wellbeing. For travelers this includes fair trade, buying local, supporting jobs, and treating others well. Over-tourism is a growing concern prompted by local residents, hosts, and business owners who experience the negative impact on the host community including overcrowding, degraded environments and encroachment on wildlife.

    A comprehensive definition of wellness tourism gives more direction for product development, service delivery and promotion. It is the cornerstone to understanding the wellness traveler and critical steps to engagement.

    Hotels and spas have adapted quickly by integrating new programs, products and staffing – from digital detox initiatives to mindfulness and gratitude practices. "For hoteliers, ancillary wellness services can be a good source of additional income, without the need to invest in becoming a “wellness resort.” states Andrew Cohan, Managing Director of Horwath HTL based in Miami.

    Core Wellness Travelers vs. Incidental Wellness Travelers

    A core wellness traveler (also referred to as a primary wellness traveler) is a consumer whose sole purpose on their trip is to improve well-being. They are often eco-conscious, responsible travelers who seek immersive experiences.

    An incidental wellness traveler (otherwise referred to as a secondary wellness traveler) is consumer whose wellness experience is incidental to their trip purpose. They may book a single spa treatment, work out in the hotel gym or eat a plant-based meal to maintain their healthy lifestyle habits on the road but they are not seeking an immersive wellness vacation.

    More consumers seek experiential travel with the idea of returning home a better, more aware person. There is surging global demand for trip experiences that create deep emotional connections. In response, travel brands are developing, more personalized, intimate services that focus on local immersion of culture, flavors, and indigenous unique experiences for consumers that fosters higher level of customer engagement.

    For some additional perspective, I spoke with Dan Fenton, Executive Vice President of JLL’s Hospitality and Tourism Group. "Creating experiences is vital for the future of tourism and hospitality. Essentially, if you don't approach it from the guest's perspective of engagement and finding ways to interact - whether its wellness, culinary, history, outdoors or spa, you have missed the mark. Visitors will not return and probably you lost out and never attracted them in the first place."

    People who are interested in wellness vacations are seeking transformation. There is something in their life they are looking to change. They don’t want single activities where the sum is a bunch of pleasant but disconnected experiences.

    Adds Fenton, “I think the continued buzz on “transformational” travel speaks to the importance of younger travelers having an “active” experience. The days of passive “sightseeing” are fading and destinations and hotels must be focused on how they impact people’s lives in a meaningful way.”

    Wellness travelers are seeking a reboot. The way to build purpose and meaning in one’s life is to look outward and build stronger connections in the world. Customers are no longer satisfied by a single, short-lived spa treatment. They seek long-term benefits and meaning. PEACE can aid the hospitality industry in better understanding the wellness experience by mapping out and introducing particular types of stimuli that facilitate the mental journey and thereby improve the guest experience of the wellness traveler.

    Published in the peer-reviewed Sage International Encyclopedia of Travel and Tourism, PEACE is an acronym that frames wellness tourism and the guest experience as both a mental process and an outcome. These five distinct progressive elements (purpose, engagement, accomplishment, challenge and equilibrium) result in taking guests through an internal journey with an intended result. That intended results is aspiring or achieving better equilibrium. Equilibrium is harmony and balance that provides a sense of peace, thus referring to the acronym.

    “PEACE” & Understanding the Wellness Traveler Journey

    Delving into the five elements of PEACE:

    Purpose. The first defining attribute of PEACE is embarking on a trip with the purpose of improving an aspect of one’s life. Purpose is a compass and offers a compelling why. Whatever the goal, knowing the trip purpose helps travelers determine where they are going, what their goal is. It could be a short-term goal, a yearlong goal or a complete lifestyle change.

    Engagement: The second attribute, engagement, focuses on selecting services and treatments that supports the guest’s purpose in a supportive environment. With an expected outcome in mind, every action taken is a step forward in achieving the goal and trip purpose.

    Accomplishment: The third attribute, accomplishment, leads to momentum and reinforcing positive behavior.

    Change:  Small, consistent steps leading to change. This change in perspective is transformative. These changes move the guest closer to, or achieving, equilibrium.

    Equilibrium: The fundamental purpose of a core wellness travel experience is improving one’s well-being made possible by the connection to others and to nature. Wellness is equilibrium. Wellness equals a state of harmony between our environment and ourselves and between the energy we take and expend, in our relationships and in our own bodies.

    Understanding your guest and visitor needs is critical to exceeding expectations. PEACE allows spas, resorts, destination marketers, agencies, designers and others to understand the progressive steps needed for guests to have a successful wellness journey.

    Used as blue print for designing wellness environments, services and processes, PEACE helps shape the quality, meaning and relevancy of the guest experience. It can also help solve issues of disengagement and fragmented activities.

    PEACE is a blue print for designing wellness environments, services, processes, which focus on the quality, meaning and relevancy of the guest experience. The traditional spa programs of yore may not resonate as strongly these days, as self-care, not pampering, has taken center-stage.

    How do you re-imagine hospitality in a way that is fresh, innovative, authentic and attractive? By giving symbolic cues and touch points meaning, purpose and emotion that help curate and guide the guest on their wellness journey.


    If the goal is to provide guests with a welcoming and peaceful sanctuary from the pressures of the outside world, where the focus is on self-care and stress reduction, understanding the wellness journey is key. Wellness vacations and retreats are promoted through intangible experiences, not the built environment. By embracing the newly introduced definition of wellness tourism, the hospitality industry as a whole could better leverage wellness tourism to maximize revenue. By implementing PEACE a hotel spa (and destinations) can transform themselves from being simply a place for rest and relaxation to an experiential symbol with distinct and identifiable characteristics creating an emotional response.

    Camille Hoheb is the President of Wellness Tourism Worldwide, a strategic consultancy specializing in development, strategic planning and partnerships. Assisting governments, businesses, and entrepreneurs to capitalize on the multi-billion wellness travel industry, Ms. Hoheb is a highly sought after strategic advisor, speaker, and thought leader. Founding Wellness Tourism Worldwide in recognition of the wide gap between quality-of-life, hospitality, tourism and sustainability, her clients include Thailand Tourism Authority, Korean Tourism Office, Sodexo, and IHG, ARIZONA Office of Tourism, Visit Estes Park, Discover Dominica Authority and others. Early on Ms. Hoheb helped shape the industry with trendspotting, reports, and public speaking engagements. Her work to advance well-being and economic growth through travel is prolific. Ms. Hoheb is the author of "The Guide to Selling Wellness Travel", which sold in 27 countries and is now available in a Spanish edition, “La Guia Para Vender Viajes de Salud y Bienestar.” She has authored several reports including” “The Top 10 Wellness Travel Trends”, “U.S. Vacationers: Health, Happiness & Productivity” and “Wellness Travel: Shaping America's Health & Economy Ms. Hoheb can be contacted at 310-720-1755 or camille(at)wellnesstourismworldwide(dot)com | Get more information.

  • Erik Wolf posted an article
    World Food Travel Association Announces New Directors & Advisors see more

    Today the World Food Travel Association announced changes for its Board of Directors and Advisors, as follows:

    • Board of Advisor Member Laura Nedli (Chicago, USA) was appointed as a new member of the Board of Directors.
    • Board of Advisor Member Wojtek Osinski (Warsaw, Poland) was appointed as a new member of the Board of Directors.
    • Board of Advisor Member Jose Maria de Juan Alonso (Madrid, Spain) appointed as a new member of the Board of Directors.
    • Board of Directors Member Carol Coren's term expired. Ms. Coren is still involved with the Association and moved to the Board of Advisors.
    • Certified Ambassador Lionel Chee (Singapore) was appointed as a new member of the Board of Advisors.
    • Certified Ambassador Udi Goldschmidt (Israel) was appointed as a new member of the Board of Advisors.

    There were no other changes in members of the Board of Directors or Board of Advisors. The terms of the new members of the Board of Directors run from July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2020. 

  • Erik Wolf posted an article
    World Food Travel Association Announces New FoodTreX Brand for Food Travel Conferences see more

    Today the World Food Travel Association (WFTA) unveiled its new FoodTreX brand for its food travel conference series.

    The FoodTreX brand was created as the umbrella brand name for the Association’s food and beverage travel trade events. “There was a clear need to unify our event brands,” said Association Executive Director Erik Wolf. “Over the past 12 months we’ve supported or produced events in Spain, Greece and Australia, as well as our popular Online Food Travel Summit. We have more planned, including Singapore and Nepal. It was time to unite our various events under a common brand so we created FoodTreX.” FoodTreX stands for "Food Travel Experience".

    FoodTreX events are designed to last a single day and feature talks on topics relevant to the host market, delivered by industry experts.  FoodTreX events can focus on specific regions (e.g. Spain, Greece, Australia), specific topics (e.g. FoodTreX London | Food Travel Innovation Summit) or can also be held online (e.g. FoodTreX Global | Online Food Travel Summit). The next FoodTreX event will be FoodTreX London | Food Travel Innovation Summit, which will take place on Sunday, November 4, 2018.


    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

  • Erik Wolf posted an article
    Jenn David discuses the power of packing as it related to food and beverage tourism. see more

    Just released! Episode 10 of the Association's Eat Well, Travel Better: The Business of Food Travel podcast, featuring Jenn David.

    For Jenn it started at a very young age, helping her mom and dad in the kitchen make pies and other baked deliciousness from scratch—mixing the dough, combining the fruit with the spices, feeling the textures, tasting the ingredients, smelling the aromas. These experiences laid the foundation for Jenn’s passion for food—she is still amazed at how simple ingredients transform into something incredible with a little effort and love. In 2002, Jenn and her husband-to-be packed up everything they owned in a small moving truck and drove from their hometown of Boston across the country to San Francisco. The dot-com bubble had just burst but Jenn’s business started to flourish, which included working with Williams-Sonoma and designing their specialty food packaging. It was here that Jenn’s two passions for food and design first intersected and stayed. Now with nearly two decades of specializing in food packaging and branding design, Jenn is an expert in creative strategy for specialty food brands. She brings her passion to each client she works with, and thrives on the challenge of creating branding that truly captures the essence of the product and life of the brand. She continues the tradition with her own children of experimenting and having fun in the kitchen. Learn more about Jenn at Jenn David Design.

    In this episode you'll learn:

    1. Why food & beverage packaging can often have a greater impact on a consumer than the actual product itself
    2. How multiple languages on the packaging can affect consumer's expectations of the product or experience
    3. How attractively packaged food/beverage products can help foster long-lasting visitor memories

    Resources mentioned in this episode:

    How to Design Your Specialty Food Packaging to Sell, a book by Jenn David Connolly


  • Erik Wolf posted an article
    Next round of FoodTrekking Awards opens for excellence and innovation in food and beverage travel see more


    Applications are now open for the next round of the World Food Travel Association's FoodTrekking Awards benchmarking excellence and innovation in food and beverage tourism. Now in their fourth year, the FoodTrekking Awards recognize excellence and innovation in both individual businesses as well as destinations. Interested businesses are invited to apply today. Applications will close on September 10, 2018, when the judges begin to process the entries. Winners will be notified on October 10, 2018 and announced publicly at the Food Travel Innovation Summit in London on November 4.


    The follow features are new or improved for this round of awards applications:

    1. The Awards categories have been overhauled to more precisely reflect the needs and interest of our industry. We’re pleased to announce nine (9) new awards categories:
      1. Best Use of Local Ingredients in a Foodservice Menu
      2. Best Conversion of Historic Building as a Food Lover Attraction
      3. Creative Use of Space for Food/Drink Experience
      4. Most Innovative Food or Beverage Marketing Campaign for a Destination
      5. Best Use of Instagram to Promote Food/Beverage Tourism
      6. Best Local Storytelling in a Food or Beverage Experience
      7. Most Authentic Food or Beverage Tour Operator Experience
      8. Best Food & Beverage Packaging Waste Reduction Campaign
      9. Best Use of Food/Beverage for Cross-Cultural Understanding
    2. Improved winner benefits, including complimentary registration to the Food Travel Innovation Summit (a £399 value).
    3. New public Awards Ceremony (taking place on Sunday, November 4 at the Food Travel Innovation Summit in London).
    4. Improved pricing, with application fees for all categories now the same.
    5. New wire transfer option for application fee payment.


    The application fee is a flat US$110 per category. Members of the World Food Travel Association will find discount codes available in the online member community. Businesses interested in applying can learn more or apply here.


    Recognition is awarded to a single First Place winner in each category. Winners receive an attractive color acrylic plaque to display showing their achievement; acknowledgment on the News page of the World Food Travel Association; and @mentions of the winning business name and category in the World Food Travel Association's social media channels and most importantly, complimentary entry to the Food Travel Innovation Summit in London on Sunday, November 3 (£399 value).


    The FoodTrekking Awards for the food travel industry are another first pioneered by the World Food Travel Association (WFTA). Every so often, you hear about an award for a foodie destination or tour operator, or an award for local excellence, but these awards usually do not bring the international recognition that is afforded by the World Food Travel Association, the world's leading authority on food and beverage tourism. Read more about the history of food tourism. Peruse past winners here.


    The answers to many questions (application process, cost, eligibility, deadlines, terms and conditions, etc.) can be founded in our Association's support portal here. 

  • Erik Wolf posted an article
    Mourning the Loss of Anthony Bourdain see more

    Today our industry has lost a heavyweight, food travel influencer Anthony Bourdain. Bourdain, 61 years old, was found dead today in his hotel room in France. The cause of death was sadly, suicide.  You can read this informative story from The New York Times for the details.

    Over the past ten years, our Association has noticed the marked uptick in traveler interest in food and drink. While it is difficult to pinpoint all the reasons for this surge, we are aware of the large role that media has played. Anthony Bourdain was an important media influencer in the food travel industry.  Bourdain’s television shows No Reservations, A Cook's Tour, and Parts Unknown, all helped to seed the idea of food travel for many who had never considered the notion before. His shows helped to open the eyes of so many budding new food lovers, perhaps more than any other media professional.

    With his passing, our industry is down a man. He will be sorely missed.  Please join us at the World Food Travel Association in mourning the great loss for our industry.

  • Erik Wolf posted an article
    Introducing World Food Travel Association Advisory Board Member Livio Colapinto from Italy see more

    Livio Colapinto is the co-owner of Zest of Italy, a company founded in 2008 with Kathrin Fehervary that focuses on delivering quality food and wine tours throughout the various regions of Italy. He also serves as a member of the Board of Advisors, and is a Certified Ambassador of, the World Food Travel Association. We spent a few minutes with Livio recently to get to know him better.

    Livio was born in Torino, Northern Italy, with Apulian (located Southern Italy) roots and great passion for the cooking of his mother, aunts and grandmothers. At the age of 8, he was cooking his first meal for the family and since then, he has never stopped searching for the best foods.

    After his engineering studies and some 7 years of work in finance between London, Zurich and Tokyo, he returned to his origins. He paused his career in international banking to get a Master’s Degree in Food Culture and Communication from the University of Gastronomic Sciences. He was the right-hand of Slow Food founder Carlo Petrini for two years, which prompted him to attend the Slow Food University of Gastronomic Sciences, and supported Oscar Farinetti, with the opening of the original Eataly stores in Italy and Japan. Because of this relationship, Livio was able to invite Oscar to appear on a recent Eat Well, Travel Better podcast produced by our Association.

    Livio got started with the World Food Travel Association almost 6 years ago when he penned a chapter, Food & Drink Manufacturing, in the Association’s Have Fork Will Travel bookFor Livio, being a part of the World Food Travel Association gives him a broader perspective about the food and beverage tourism industry. He finds the networking one of the most valuable tools the Association offers.

    As for his favorite food destinations, Livio has a fondness for Japan, which he obtained when he lived in Tokyo, in 2006, to open the Japan office of Slow Food. Livio is also fascinated by New York City and Los Angeles due his numerous trips there for meetings with food retailers and restaurateurs (think: Nancy Silverton, Eli Zabar), who use Livio’s services to source quality Italian food and beverage products.

    As for what’s next for Livio and his company, he’ll be working to develop new travel programs to Italy with both passionate food travelers and foodservice professionals, many of who originate in the USA.

    You can learn more and follow him here on Instagram or here on Facebook.

  • Erik Wolf posted an article
    New Podcast | Episode 9: Jon Simon - The Lost Art of the Phone Call | World Food Travel Association see more

    Just released! Episode 9 of the Association's Eat Well, Travel Better: The Business of Food Travel podcast, featuring Jon Simon. Jon is a serial entrepreneur and the founder of Pieminister, a small group of restaurants and cafes in southern and western United Kingdom, focused on serving the savoury pie, which everyone in the UK and Commonwealth knows all too well. Recently Jon co-founded Good Sixty, an online platform which brings together the best of the best, of food retailers and artisan producers, allowing people to either buy local groceries or amazing produce from across the UK and have it delivered to their door. Jon talks about what he learned from the time he co-founded Pieminister, and how he's applying that to his new business ventures.

    In this episode you'll learn:

    1. Why it's important to find and then share the stories about the area as well as the products and the people
    2. What goes into an area's "signature dish"
    3. How to motivate yourself to get started on a food tourism project of your own
    4. The destination marketing opportunity today for secondary and tertiary destinations
    5. Think about and develop unexpected food & beverage experiences
    6. The three things that make food travel memorable

    Resources mentioned in this episode:

    Tools of Titans (book)


  • Erik Wolf posted an article
    Recordings available from Online Food Travel Summit see more

    A huge thanks to the 264 delegates from 36 countries who attended our second annual Online Food Travel Summit, which took place April 24-25. Recordings were made and are available as follows:

    Sessions 1 and 9
    A member benefit and available to WFTA members only in the Members Area (one you're logged in, even if you did not register for the Summit)

    Sessions 2-8


    If you attended but did not receive recording links:
    Links for sessions you purchased were sent out on May 2. If you did not receive, please check your spam folder. If you still do not have the recordings for sessions you purchased, then let us know at help (at) worldfoodtravel (dot) org. Remember, recordings of Sessions 1 and 9 are available only to current Association members from the Members Area once you're logged in.

    Any questions or problems?
    Let us know at help (at) worldfoodtravel (dot) org.

  • Erik Wolf posted an article
    World Food Travel Association Ambassador in Nepal Suraj Pradhan see more

    We are pleased to introduce Suraj Pradhan, the World Food Travel Association (WFTA)'s newest certified ambassador. Suraj represents the interests of the WFTA in Nepal, the land of Mount Everest.

    Suraj's interest in the hospitality sector began with his apprenticeship as a chef in 2010 when her arrived in Sydney, Australia. Suraj's passion was encouraged when he was awarded with Tourism Minister’s Student Achiever Award 2010 in Australia. This award gave him the impetus to dream of his nation’s cuisine and food heritage. Following his passion about "root cuisine", Nepalese food, he initiate ‘Let’s talk about Nepalese Food’ 2013 campaign in Sydney and Nepal. He then begin to write about Nepalese food in local newspapers and magazines of Nepal and Sydney and got chance to be monthly Nepalese food speaker in SBS Radio and contribute Nepalese recipes to SBS Food (Australia’s no.1 food network). His recipes have been featured in many cookbooks, recently by the famed US food writer Raghavan Iyer.

    Then Suraj had the idea to use his experience and skills to promote further Nepalese food, which eventually led to the notion to develop and promote food tourism to Nepal. The country's food heritage and food stories are unheard, undiscovered and untold, a perfect recipe for food tourism.

    At the end of 2016, he was part of the One Star House Party team that "conquered" Mount Everest Base Camp with a Pop Up Restaurant led by British Chef James Sharman (ex-Noma) and Tom Aikens. Then in 2017, he finally fulfilled his dream to organize first Nepalese Food Festival in Sydney as Tasting Nepal 2017 and also the first Nepalese Pop Up Dinner in Brisbane. As the director of his company Two Tables, he has planned and organized several gastronomical events and starting food tourism and hospitality consulting company partnering with various stakeholders in Nepal and Australia respectively. 

    We sat down with Suraj to get to know him better.

    WFTA: Tell us what your company does.

    Suraj: We’ve got a bunch of great stories about how our work brings about positive outcomes around communities and what inspire us to kick off this business design. We are a creative and cultural enterprise focused on nurturing the development of individuals, businesses and communities. We achieve outcomes through capacity building, intensive workshops, creating employment opportunities, training, events, marketing, innovation and creativity.

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

    Suraj: I got involved with hospitality sector as apprentice chef in 2010 as I arrived Sydney in 2009 from the land of Mount Everest; Nepal and become passionate about this industry when I received the Tourism Minister’s Student Achiever Award 2010 in Australia. Then, following my passion for food, I thought of my root cuisine and ways to promote it. Meanwhile, I studied food media in Sydney, then gradually taking various jobs in the hospitality industry. Eventually I began to understand the importance of food in tourism, and became determined to establish Nepal as a food hub from means of the food tourism.

    WFTA: What are your top 3 favorite food/beverage destinations and why do you like them?

    This would be most favourite question to me, or all foodies out there. Rather than a particular three places, in generic my favourite three food destinations are:

    1. Europe- In Europe, my favourite are Italian, Spanish and Greek cuisine as these cuisines are influencing the way people around the world think about food. Who doesn’t impressed by Italian way of eating their food with love.

    2. Asia: In Asia, I really want to go Japan to observe how precisely the Japanese prepare their food. Bad eating is really impossible there and being chef, I am watching Japanese cooking influences on the top chefs today. 

    3. Southeast Asia: Really nowadays, cuisines from Southeast Asia, Malaysian, Thai, Vietnamese, Filipino and Singaporean are attracting me as they are so delicious and have great stories to tell.

    And another favourite destination is my own Nepal’s many parts. I really want to go every corner of the Nepal and search of food stories and find the mysteries.

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

    As this organisation is the leading authority of food and travel, it was a great place to come and learn how to become food & travel expert and also how to create economic opportunities for destinations. I'm most excited about the opportunities to collaborate on projects together.

    Thank you Suraj. It's a pleasure to offer you a seat at our table.

  • Erik Wolf posted an article
    World Food Travel Association announces fresh new look and logo see more

    The World Food Travel Association is pleased to announce a refresh today of its own logo. The new logo, pictured here, is a "simpler and streamlined look that reflects the history, passion and commitment of our organization, while staying true to our leadership and future vision for our industry," says Association Executive Director Erik Wolf.

    The lighter font reflects a stylized, modern approach, while keeping true to the Association's original brand colors of blue (recollecting air and sea) and green (recollecting land). A solid yellow gold pillar was added for warmth. Yellow signifies sunshine, hope, freshness, happiness, positivity, clarity, energy, optimism, enlightenment, intellect, honor, loyalty, and joy, and signifies what the World Food Travel Association means to our industry. 

    Only the logo has changed. The Association's tagline, mission, activities, programs and leadership all remain unchanged. The new logo will replace the old logo in all communication channels over the next few weeks.

  • Erik Wolf posted an article
    The World Food Travel Association welcomes new Ambassador in Singapore. see more

    The World Food Travel Association is pleased to announce the Association's first ambassador in Singapore, Mr. Lionel Chee. He is also the Association's second Ambassador in Asia.

    Mr. Chee was educated in Switzerland Les Roches and AHMA. He has worked in the hospitality, food and beverage industry for the last 30 years. Born into one of the earliest immigrant Peranakan family, he ran a successful heritage restaurant Casa Bom Vento Restaurant for 20 years before embarking on a career as a tour guide. He is also a member of the Society of Tourist Guides and director of a food consultancy firm. He also conducts his own cooking classes and food tours around Singapore. Mr. Chee shares his philosophy, "Food brings people together like nothing else, constantly, consistently and creatively. It is something close to everyone’s heart, money cannot buy the priceless joy what food can bring and I intend to bring that to you."

    We welcome Mr. Chee into the Association's family of Certified Ambassadors. You can view Mr. Chee's profile here.

  • Erik Wolf posted an article
    NEW! Podcast Episode 8: Amanda Niode - Making Food Travel Memorable see more

    Just released! Episode 8 of the Association's Eat Well, Travel Better: The Business of Food Travel podcast, featuring Amanda Niode. Amanda Niode is an internationally renowned environmental and climate change educator and communicator. Her work background is varied, handling environmental specialties and climate change for Indonesian government agencies, multinational corporations, consulting companies, academic institutions, civil societies and international organizations. Amanda was appointed as a visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, outside Boston in the United States, and she has also lived in the United States. Amanda also serves as an Ambassador of the World Food Travel Association in Indonesia.

    In this episode you'll learn:

    1. Why it's important to find and then share the stories about the area as well as the products and the people
    2. What goes into an area's "signature dish"
    3. How to motivate yourself to get started on a food tourism project of your own
    4. The destination marketing opportunity today for secondary and tertiary destinations
    5. Think about and develop unexpected food & beverage experiences
    6. The three things that make food travel memorable

    Resources mentioned in this episode:

    Trailing the Taste of Gorontalo (book)
    Omar Niode Foundation
    Will Write for Food (book)