Who We Are

Get to know us at the World Food Travel Association

World Food Travel Association

About Us


The World Food Travel Association (WFTA) was founded in 2003 as a non-profit and non-governmental organization (NGO) and has become the world's leading authority on food and beverage tourism. Every year, the Association serves a community of nearly 200,000+ professionals in 100+ countries.


We create economic opportunities where food and beverage meet travel and hospitality.  

Our knowledge, tools and training help trade professionals and organizations to leverage their area's food and beverage 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.


We’re at the forefront of our industry’s development with cutting-edge resources for today’s food, beverage, travel, hospitality and media professionals and we have been instrumental in forging strategic partnerships with related organizations, and by driving though leadership at regional and international food tourism industry events.


Our Mission


To preserve and promote the awareness of culinary cultures through hospitality and tourism.

Our Vision


We strive to serve as the world's leading hub of innovation and excellence in, and knowledge for, the food and beverage tourism industry cluster.

Our Core

Values

Our Core Values

Quality

Integrity

Innovation

Meet Our Team

Erik Wolf
Erik Wolf
Founder & Executive Director - USA | UK | Spain

Erik is the founder of the food travel trade industry, and Executive Director of the World Food Travel Association, the world’s leading authority on food and beverage tourism. He’s also the publisher of Have Fork Will Travel and author of Culinary Tourism: The Hidden Harvest. He’s also a highly sought speaker on food and beverage tourism. He has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek and Forbes, and on CNN, Sky TV, the BBC, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, PeterGreenberg.com, and other leading media outlets.

Favorite cuisines – Italian, then India/Thai, then Levant (Middle Eastern). Favorite drink – red wine or hard cider. Favorite dessert – chocolate is always the correct choice. Favorite destination for food or drink – San Sebastian, Spain or Bologna, Italy. Where I want to travel (back to) for food next – Portland, Oregon, USA.

Founder, World Food Travel Association
Jane Connelly
Jane Connelly
Asst Marketing Manager - Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Jane is strong believer of food and travel as a mechanism for sustainable tourism and economic growth. Whether it is promoting local culinary cultures or developing food tourism initiatives. Food and travel and go hand in hand. Favorite cuisine – Thai. Favorite drink – Albariño White Wine. Favorite destination for food or drink – Sevilla, Spain. Where I want to travel for food next – Hong Kong.

Matthew Stone
Matthew Stone
Research Advisor - Chico, California, USA

Matthew serves as the lead research advisor for the World Food Travel Association. He is a professor at California State University (CSU)-Chico, where he teaches hospitality, food & beverage, and tourism. Dr. Stone co-authored the Association’s 2016 World Food Travel Monitor, and has also worked on projects for the United States Travel Association. His research has been presented at international conferences and appeared in academic journals including Tourism Management and Journal of Travel Research. Dr. Stone has been quoted as a travel expert in the media, including USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Smart Money, and Asian Hospitality. He is the Vice President of the Greater Western chapter of the Travel & Tourism Research Association (TTRA). Favorite cuisine – Tex-Mex. Favorite drink – Iced Tea or Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Favorite destination for food or drink – Singapore. Where I want to travel for food next – San Sebastián, Spain.

Garry Taylor
Garry Taylor
Strategist - South Wales, United Kingdom

Garry has worked with the Association since 2008, in various roles ranging from mystery (secret) shopping to experience assessment, disability assessment, wellness assessment and project management. He was also instrumental in developing the Association’s proprietary PsychoCulinary profiling research methodology. Garry also serves as an Ambassador to the World Food Travel Association in Wales, United Kingdom.

Robert Ryanson
Robert Ryanson
Support - Vancouver, BC, Canada

Robert is a student at the University of British Columbia studying Marketing. Favorite cuisine – Japanese. Favorite drink – Beer or Coffee. Favorite destination for food or drink – Thailand. Where I want to travel for food next – Japan.

Samantha Torres
Samantha Torres
Member Support - Austin, Texas, USA

Samantha is a student at the University of Texas studying International Business. Favorite cuisine – Mexican. Favorite drink – Any fresh squeezed fruit juice. Favorite destination for food or drink – California.  Where I want to travel for food next – Mexico City.

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