All Posts by WFTA

News | Thai Food Ambassador, Max Thammaraks

Max Thammaraks acts as a World Food Travel Association Certified Ambassador in Thailand. He recently sat down for an interview with Spoon & Fork Magazine about his role as a Thai Food Tourism Ambassador.

“Well it’s two fold, one is to continue to promote Thai cuisine to the world, and this can be done through tourism promotional campaigns, investment in the development of cooking schools, processed food, exported raw ingredients, personnel such as chefs or other such support that would help grow reach of Thai cuisine worldwide. In this sense, I aim to work with organizations such as Tourism Authority of Thailand, big companies and government sectors, destination marketers, business owners, students, researchers, entrepreneurs and the media. The other role is to help the World Food Travel Association to find opportunities within Thailand for joint promotion or projects and partnership opportunities. So basically I ant to carve out a space where I can be the narrator and help connect and facilitate.”

Read the full article here

World Food Travel Association is excited to have such dedicated food tourism professionals like Max on their team!

News | Meet Our Newest Ambassador in Haiti: Natacha Gomez

Natacha Gomez

Join us this month as we sit down with Natacha Gomez our newest Certified Ambassador and founder and member of: Le festival du Café, Le Salon de la Nouvelle Gastronomie Haitienne, Co-owner of Kanowa Farms, President of AFADEM ( Aksyon Fanm Pou Demen Miyo), President of Women 4 Better World, Co-producer of Concours Culinaire Franco-Haitien, and Co owner of INVESTA.

Please introduce who you are and your company affiliation.

NG: I was born up in Cap-Haitian, a Historic city on the Northern Coast of Haiti, I have two wonderful kids and live between the Caribbean and the United states. Early in my life I was involved in community projects from helping elders to learn to read to become member of Rotary International, Local chamber of commerce, Culinary Alliances and worked in several cultural project for the public sector. I have received many awards locally and internationally and I am grateful that my work can inspire others to embrace this career.

I believe that without passion for your craft you won’t succeed in our industry because it requires a lot of dedication and sacrifices and I will also say that I have the most beautiful job in the world the combination of Travel, Tourism and gastronomy, that allow me to address, raise awareness, advocate for preservation of Cultural heritage, promote traditional and new gastronomy, a better food system and Women Empowerment.

Please share what your company does, who you work with, where you operate, your company goals, etc. Anything to help readers better understand what you do.

NG: We are a family owned event company based in the United States and Haiti who provides cultural and culinary experiences by organizing conferences, dinners, Food and Caribbean products festivals, cooking classes ,workshops, speakers for conferences ,travel tours and catering services our website is www.natachagomez.com and www.investahaiti.com  we cater to both private and public sector in each events with prioritize working with local business.

One of our goal is to share our culture with the world, our gastronomy who started with the Tainos to the #newhaitiangastronomy and bring the #newcuisine as ambassadors to the world.

What is your company working on – what can we expect to see next from you or your company? Do you have an upcoming milestone that you would like to share?

NG: As an international company our main goal is to bring you the best 100% Lokal Experience each country we work in has to offer. Our events are designed around Local history, culture, culinary customs, regional dishes, the work of farmers and traditional and modern trends. Since 1998 we have been researching about Haitian and American food and beverage influences.

In Haiti we started working with farmers to replant long lost crops since the Tainos to help the new generation understand and valorize our culture, to put diversity on our plate. Each part of the country as a main dish that should be in the forefront of this town food tourism tour that tells the story of that specific community promoting and valorizing is our contribution to the tourism sector.

One of our goals is to export our Food Tourism event; Salon de la Nouvelle Gastronomie (Salon of the New Haitian Gastronomy) around the world starting September 2020 we will launch in NY and to host Conferences about Food Tourism.

We will engage more in raising awareness for biodiversity that is an essential part of the solution to climate change, altogether the Tourism industry specially the eco-tourism, the food and beverage industry could lose billions per year if the loss of biodiversity continues at this alarming pace.

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

NG: 1st I would say the Caribbean for of its climate, the richness of culture, the gastronomy you can experience all the continents while visiting the Caribbean but what I like the most is their potential for growth as Tourism destinations they are truly hidden gems. Haiti, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Curacao should be on everyone list.

The United States would come second for diversity, new trends, commodities, attractions and the night life you can experience the world in most of the states. New York and Los Angeles are my favorites along with American Samoa

3rd would be Europe if you love History like me, old towns, good food and Champagne, Europe is the happy place to be and to top it off some cities are doing amazing works to change our way of life and help save the planet, lately I was in Stockholm and I fell in love with the sensation of wellbeing that city gives you, their won battle for recycling and green living is motivating and infectious and they environmental policies can have a positive impact on the world. Paris, Reims, Bruxelles, Amsterdam and Stockholm are the top on my list.

Why did you join the World Food Travel Association?

NG: Our industry is a global market and every destination has something unique to teach visitors, for me the World Food Travel Association is the bond and the link to put us all together to facilitate discussions, to learn from each other partnership is the solution to give the boost the Food and beverage Tourism sector needs.

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

NG: My parents, grandparents included made a great job raising my brother and I early they teach us about what it takes to be a great citizen ,how to be in service to others and mostly they share their knowledge with us about the history the lands our island and others we traveled a lot locally and internationally what we learn in books were shown to us my grandmother introduces me to farming I was more interested in eating a vegetable because I know I would get to plant that seed of that tomatoes and would get to brag about the sweetness of an orange because it was mine special orange tree, I loved to hear stories about how people use to live back in the days what they were eating and my grandmother did design a space in her kitchen just for me and I was 5 and by 9 I was behind the cooks on my parents 1st restaurant so I can really say that my interest for food and beverage tourism started early in my life.

I started in my professional life as a travel professional with American airlines then I got to open my own Travel and Tours agency sharing my love for travel with clients looking for that perfect local spots to discover and enjoy knowing that culture really has no frontier was the best experience ever, meanwhile I was still in the restaurant business with my family ,I became a Chef and a culinary instructor ,an event planner, a farmer and an ambassador for our label 100% Lokal ,that label was created for traceability and promotion for locally sourced products and little that I know that it will become a lifestyle and a global action campaign call.

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

NG: My advice for prospective member would be that old African saying; If you want to go fast go alone if you want to go far go together. A community of like-minded people can have a big impact globally, we can create trends we have the power to create demands, to work together for a better future. So join US!

A final word?

NG: I like to talk about respect, because respect leads to love. Love brings unity and prosperity, the love for our planet will entice our farmers to produce better crops, it will spike the creativity of our chefs to put a twist on traditional dishes and use lesser known ingredients or come up with new recipes, it will boost the need to travel to discover new flavors and by that our economy will bloom and we will leave the world at a better place than we had for the next generation.

News | Community Spotlight: Roberta Garibaldi

Roberta Garibaldi

Join us as we sit down with Roberta Garibaldi, Professor of Tourism Management at the University of Bergamo, and the author of the Italian Report on Gastronomy Tourism.

First off please introduce who you are and share with us how and why you got involved in food/beverage tourism.

RG: I am a professor at a university in Italy, and also the author of the Italian Report on Gastronomy Tourism. I am also a consultant in territorial projects and a keynote speaker in a number of conferences. My adventure in food and beverage tourism started with my passion for travel. I have always been attracted to the cultural side of food. By travelling, you inevitably get in touch with other food cultures and you have the opportunity to understand really how much food can tell about a place and its people. After I decided to transform this passion into my job, you know as Confucius once said:”Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life”. And here I am.

Next we would love to know what your company does, its mission, vision, etc.

RG: I am a professor and a researcher so I am always keen to embark myself in new research as well as territorial projects in order to supervise the scientific dimension of gastronomy tourism product development by offering the operators data on the new trends associated with the project. I believe that food tourism can not be separated from the local community. That it is the solely custodian of traditions conceived as living heritage.

We are sure that you have many, but if you had to choose just one, what would be your favorite food/beverage travel experience?

RG: In my heart I have a lot of Italian destinations, such as Langhe, Montalcino, Prosecco land. But some weeks ago I had fantastic discovery in Indonesia. I was there for a project and this gave me the possibility to enter in contact with local people and local stakeholders, to visit and experience different activities in food tourism such as cooking schools, restaurants, chocolate factories, and wineries. It was such an enriching experience both from a professional and personal point pf view.

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?

RG: Food Tourism is a dynamic segment, this is something we have to have in mind. The industry cannot remain static, it has to continuously renovate accordingly with new trends and consumers’ needs. I think that one of the biggest challenges for the future will be technology used to enrich the customer experience in the production site. Currently it has been applied only by a discrete amount of operators but I think in future it will be the standard. Looking back on the last 10 years of innovations, I cannot imagine which kind of powerful and interesting tools will be designed in next years!

News | The Economic Impact of Food Tourism

winery

Estimating the economic impact of food & beverage tourism is at best, very difficult.

First, we would need to find how many travelers there are to an area. Then we would need to interview them to find out how much they spend on food and drink while traveling. We could dig deeper and ask them what percentage of their expenditures are for sustenance vs. a unique food or beverage experience. We would also have to factor out expenditures by locals. And how would you account for a visitor’s spending on gourmet souvenir items in a grocery store? As you can see, the task is very difficult, and the cost of figuring out exactly how much travelers are spending on food and beverage experiences can outweigh the findings.

We have a better way. Over the years, through our own research, secondary research, interviews and conversations, we have constructed our own impression of the value of food tourism. By our estimate, visitors spend approximately 25% of their travel budget on food and beverages. The figure can get as high as 35% in expensive destinations, and as low as 15% on more affordable destinations.  Confirmed food lovers also spend a bit more than the average of 25% spent by travelers in general.

Please conduct more evidence-based research if you require absolute precision. We’re confident that your result will most likely fall in this range.  Perhaps a better question to ask yourself would be, is it worth the extra cost of doing your own custom research to learn that your figure varies by only 2.3% from the estimate provided by the World Food Travel Association? You might find better things to spend your money on.

Most governments publish data on total visitor arrivals and expenditures. Take the estimated economic impact of visitors to your area and multiply it by 25%. That is your estimated economic impact of expenditures on the food and beverage sector.

News | Who Are Food Travelers?

eating

Research from our 2016 Food Travel Monitor proves that 93% of travelers can now be considered food travelers.

By “food travelers”, we mean travelers who had participated in a food or beverage experience other than dining out, at some time in the past 12 months. They may have visited a cooking school, participated in a food tour, or gone shopping in a local grocery or gourmet store. These are the types of activities that food travelers engage in. We also go on tours at food or beverage factories, participate in wine/beer/spirits tastings, and of course, eat out in unique or memorable foodservice establishments. We’ll visit a chocolatier, bakery or gelateria to sample what makes the area famous. Most importantly, food travelers are explorers. We love to get off the beaten path and find the new (or new for us), unique or undiscovered experiences.

It may surprise many readers to learn that foodies with a Gourmet preference are absolutely in the minority. To be specific, our 2010 PsychoCulinary research showed that only 8.1% of food travelers expressed an interest in Gourmet experiences as their primary interest. By the time our 2016 research was published, that number had risen to 18%, but still very much in the minority. We attribute the increase due to television programming about chefs, chef competitions and cooking.

News | First FoodTreX London 2019 Speakers Announced

FoodTreX London

The World Food Travel Association is pleased to announce the first group of speakers who will be participating at the FoodTreX London | Food Travel Innovation Summit. The first group of speakers and their topics include:

Innovation in Customer Satisfaction for Food-Loving Travelers
Matthias Tesi Baur, President, World Gourmet Society, London, UK

Innovation in Food/Beverage Destination Strategy
Marc Crothall, Chief Executive Officer, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Stirling, Scotland, UK

Innovation in Conscious Consumers: When Food Lovers Travel
Chantal Cooke, Passion for the Planet, UK

Innovation in Online Food Tourism Strategy
Veruska Anconitano, Award-winning journalist, Dublin, Ireland

Innovation in Food/Beverage Tourism Industry Collaboration
Justin Hawke, Moor Beer, Bristol, England, UK

Innovation in Local Empowerment Through Food Tourism
Aashi Vel, Co-Owner, Traveling Spoon, San Francisco, California, USA

Innovation in Food/Beverage Tourism Community Engagement [Panel]
Roberta Garibaldi, University of Bergamo, Italy
Maria Athanasopoulou, Respond on Demand, Thessaloniki, Greece
Udi Goldschmidt, Culinary Institute of Jerusalem, Israel

State of the Food & Beverage Tourism Industry
Erik Wolf, Executive Director, World Food Travel Association, USA & UK

More speakers will be announced shortly.

The FoodTreX London | Food Travel Innovation Summit is the World Food Travel Association’s flagship event. It always takes place in London and on the day before the start of World Travel Market. This year, the Food Travel Innovation Summit will be held on Sunday, November 3 at the Amba Hotel Charing Cross in Central London.

The FoodTreX London | Food Travel Innovation Summit is our industry’s premier forum for the exchange of ideas and innovations relating to food and beverage tourism.  We explore trends, issues, tools and developments that you won’t find online and topics that will make the greatest impact on food and beverage tourism in the coming year. You need to stay competitive in a rapidly evolving world and the ideas and information you get at FoodTreX will give you a competitive advantage. Network with other attendees and professionals from around the world who include tourism boards, governments, business owners and managers of all types, universities and media. Pricing for the first 50 Innovation Summit delegates is only £299 (plus VAT), after which pricing will increase to £349 (plus VAT).

And this year for the first time, the World Food Travel Association is holding its Food Travel Research Summit concurrently with its Innovation Summit. The aim of the Food Travel Research Summit is to give academics and researchers a platform to present their latest ground-breaking research on any issues relating to food and beverage tourism. Student pricing for the first 20 Research Summit delegates is only £149 (plus VAT), after which pricing will increase to £179 (plus VAT).

All registered delegates will be free to go back and forth without restriction to both summits.

Professionals are also invited to attend the Association’s Annual Meeting on Saturday, November 2. The meeting is free for Association members of Silver level and above. Others are welcome to attend for a nominal US$25 (approx. £20) to cover the cost of your food and drink. RSVP here for the Annual Meeting.

Both Summits and the annual meeting will be held in the same venue, the Amba Hotel Charing Cross in Central London.

REGISTER NOW

 

 

News | Community Spotlight: Livio Colapinto

Livio Colapinto

Join us as we sit down with Livio Colapinto, co-owner of Zest of Italy.

 

Firstly, please introduce who you are and share with us how and why you got involved in food/beverage tourism.

LC: I was born in Torino with Apulian roots, a large family scattered throughout the Italian boot and a great passion for my mother and grandmother’s kitchen. At 8 I cooked my first dish for Nonno Giuseppe and kept pleasing others with food ever since – combing through markets, visiting farms and meeting artisans, cooking for guests and fellow chefs – while discovering cultural masterpieces of Italy. After my engineering studies and some ten years in finance between London, Zurich and Tokyo I studied at Slow Food University, worked and traveled with president Carlo Petrini, and later with Oscar Farinetti as he was working on opening his Eataly market stores around the world.

While still at Slow Food I met my wife Kathrin – a then undergraduate student at the University of Gastronomic Sciences – and while dating we ended up traveling to and visiting wine estate, food shows and happened to guide some prominent chefs very close to the Slow Food community. Kathrin had a lovely experience organising a tour for Alice Waters in Wien and I happened to do the same with Michel Troisgros in Piemonte. After that and in the last 12 years, things went on built naturally, organically following Kathrin’s vision to lead our guests, young and old, professionals and leisure travellers, with the same care we’d apply with relatives visiting us that we had not seen for a long time.

Today our unique expertise and guest management are our most powerful USPs.

Next we would love to know what your company does, its mission, vision, etc.

LC: We design and operate multi-regional tours across Italy, moving slowly through a landscape, rubbing shoulders with real people who are wonderful in their fields and never depending on the branded glitz to make our guest’s trip a memorable experience.

We provide individuals, professionals and organizations with travel solutions tailored to the most unique and diverse needs. We customize travel design across Italy, lifestyle & private tours, culinary study trips for importers, cooks and sommeliers. All aimed at building ties and experiences to help them gain the best out of their time in Italy.

We are sure that you have many, but if you had to choose just one, what would be your favorite food/beverage travel experience?

LC: Yes we have many, and we’d never be able to choose one. Italy for us it’s like a vast playground where we meet and play with hundreds of food artisans, cooks, hosts. While we spend some time together we learn about their struggles, they personal challenges, we share ours, and we always find ways to look ahead with positivity. When we leave – always with a hug and an “arrivederci”, see you soon – we feel like we have been together for ever and whenever we come back it’s like time has stopped in between our last visit.

Bakers in historic old-town centre of Puglia or in the eternal Rome, vignerons in both the most remote and prime wine appellations, Michelin starred chefs and local cooks, small scale organic farmers and food company owners… this is the world of Zest of Italy.  A world of real artisans that we respect, promote, encourage, support and celebrate with our travels and our travellers.

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?

LC: We strongly believe in cycles and, within a cycle, in moment of consolidation after new trends are implemented. 15 years ago food tourism was known to few and this rapidly evolved to become, today, one of the main – if not the main – trending sector of the travel industry.

Today we are about to reach the pick in terms of awareness and market scope, and the next 10 years will see further consolidation of the industry. What will happen, and already started to, in this period of consolidation will be a wave of spin-off from this sector towards more specific and peculiar chapters. This is the praxis in the natural life cycle of a product and food tourism, as a commodity product, will face the same stages. So food tourism will develop and diversify its offer.

This will occur by gaining new markets both horizontally, or laterally, entering in other tourism categories – i.e. food & sport tourism, food & health tourism, food & adventure tourism, food & senior tourism, etc… – but also vertically with food tourism becoming increasingly important at different levels of the tourism chain with new stakeholders involved – i.e. food tourism editing and publishing, food tourism communication agencies, food tourism DMCs, food tourism in the transport business, food tourism in technology, etc…

 

Forbes: Zest of Italy: Discover Authentic Italy Through Its Cuisine

Episode 22: Eric Aebi – Sharing Abundance With Others

Eric Aebi Eat Well Travel Better Business of Food Travel Podcast

In this episode #22, we speak with Eric Aebi. In his current position as Program Chair of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Chemeketa Community College, and President of Ethos Hospitality & Tourism, Eric’s focus is on workforce development in the US State of Oregon, as well as abroad. He is an advocate for authentic food tourism experiences that connect guests with local farmers, entrepreneurs and places, to the mutual benefit of all. The ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus became Eric’s guiding influence when he first heard his words of wisdom, “It’s not what we have, but what we enjoy, that constitutes our abundance.” Eric seeks to create abundance and share it with others.

In this episode you'll learn:

  • Why too many visitors can ruin a destination’s authenticity & what to do about it
  • Why we need to promote the value of hospitality careers, to industry, youth and the media
  • How globalization has adversely affected the food-loving visitor experience
  • Why food memories last so long
  • What zero-sum thinking is and why it’s a bad deal for everyone
  • How food can break down the walls of fear

Discussed in this episode:
Eric's links:
Chemeketa Community College
Eric on LinkedIn

Episode 21: John Mulcahy – Don’t Ask for Permission, Ask for Forgiveness

John Mulcahy Eat Well Travel Better Business of Food Travel Podcast

In this episode #21 of Eat Well Travel Better: The Business of Food Travel podcast, 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 will 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).

Discussed in this episode:
John's links:
John on Academia.edu
John on LinkedIn

Episode 20: Wojtek Osinski – There’s No Hiding Behind the Internet

Wojtek Osinski Eat Well Travel Better Business of Food Travel Podcast

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.

Discussed in this episode:
Wojtek's company:
Taste Poland Food & Travel Consulting
Taste Poland Blog

1 2 3 7