All Posts by WFTA

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
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

News | Top Reasons Why You Need to Attend FoodTreX London 2019


Now in its second year – the FoodTreX London | Food Travel Innovation Summit taking place on Sunday, November 3.

This is the day before World Travel Market begins, for those of you attending that event.

We know there are a lot of conferences vying for your attention. We’ve compiled a list of the top reasons why you should choose FoodTreX London on November 3:

  1. New information.  The content is about innovation in food tourism, and NOT a repeat of what you’ve seen or heard elsewhere. Also, the content you’ll hear at FoodTreX will not be repeated at World Travel Market.
  2. New ideas.  New information helps you to think of new ideas to help you get or stay ahead. You need new ideas to grow your business.
  3. Quality networking.  Meet leading food travel industry influencers. Introduce yourself, present your business, create new partnerships.
  4. Intimate setting.  Our goal is quality not quantity. Ticket sales are limited. And in an intimate group, it’s easier to meet the people you want.
  5. Convenience.  Piggybacked with World Travel Market. No need to spend extra money or time on another trip.
  6. Food Travel Matters. 93% of visitors engage in some kind of unique or memorable food/drink experience other than eating out. Don’t be left out of this profitable market segment.
  7. Food Travel is Changing. You can’t just put a list of restaurants on your website or organize a food event.  You need to know who to reach out to, and how to do it in order to be as effective as possible and capture more customers or visitors.
  8. Concurrent Research Summit. This year we’re hosting the FoodTreX Food Travel Research Summit at the same time. Attend both summits for the same price!
  9. Quality Content. FoodTreX stands for “Food Travel Excellence”.
  10. Affordable. While other London conferences cost in the £695-795 per day range, we don’t think quality education and networking should have to cost that much. FoodTreX registration will be less than £395 (+VAT).

Come join us for great information, great networking and a lot of fun! Remember, FoodTreX won’t be recorded so you’ll need to attend in person if you want access to this fantastic content!

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News | Getting Ready For FoodTreX Thessaloniki


Getting Ready For FoodTreX Thessaloniki 

The World Food Travel Association is pleased to announce that its FoodTreX Thessaloniki | Regional Food Travel Summit, will be held on October 7, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency in Thessaloniki, Greece.  FoodTreX Thessaloniki is an entire Summit dedicated to the discussion of the development of Food Tourism in Greece.

The Summit’s main organizers are Maria Athanasopoulou from Respond On Demand and Chrissa Krassa from Top Tourism who are certified ambassadors in Greece for the World Food Travel Association,  the world’s leading authority on food tourism.
In its second year, FoodTreX Thessaloniki offers its audience diverse sessions on the development of gastronomic tourism in Greece and how it can be achieved through proven branding, marketing and storytelling practices.  Each session will be presented by prestigious international speakers, along with the keynote speaker Erik Wolf, the founder of the World Food Travel Association and they will share their personal and professional knowledge and experience. A small exhibition of Greek traditional products and private tasting events (Test The Taste) will also be held during the Summit.  All presentations will be in English language. Admission to the public is free of charge, but registration is required.

The program, as well as an attendance pre-registration form may be found HERE.

Sponsors include Ellinair and Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki.

Want more information? Contact Maria at

News | Call for Proposals 2019 FoodTreX London Food Travel Research Summit

The World Food Travel Association is seeking submissions of academic papers for the FoodTreX London|Food Travel Research Summit.

As the world’s leading authority on food and beverage tourism, the World Food Travel Association is uniquely qualified to shepherd an academic/research summit of this type. You can learn more about the Association here.

The FoodTreX London|Food Travel Research Summit for academics/researchers will take place concurrently with the FoodTreX London|Food Travel Innovation Summit for the trade on Sunday 3, November 2019 in London. There will be two separate auditoriums, one for each Summit. Student delegates will be free to move back and forth between both Summits without having to pay an additional registration fee for the Innovation Summit

Are you interested in presenting your latest research relating to food or beverage tourism? Applications are now open to all academic, instructors, teaching assistants, researchers, professors and others engaged in researching food and beverage tourism.



News | Community Spotlight: Aashi Vel

Aashi Vel Traveling Spoon

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.

AV: 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.

AV: 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? 

AV: 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?

AV: 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!


Forbes: Traveling Spoon is the next generation of culinary tourism

News | 10 Step Guide To Food Tourism Destination Development

Destination Development

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.

News | What Purpose Does a Code of Ethics Serve?

Code of Ethics

Our Association abides by a Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. That means that we set the standard of professionalism and excellence by which our industry operates. The Code applies to both professional and personal interactions, and outlines our expectations from our Community.

Anyone involved with our Association is expected to follow the Code. This includes all community members; Certified Culinary Travel Professional graduates; Association staff and contractors; Board of Directors, Advisors & Ambassadors; and our Sponsors & Strategic Partners.

We introduced our Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct in 2015 in response to demonstrated in the industry to take a stand on professional integrity. Since then, our Code has been lauded by professionals around the world.

Join as a member today and download your copy of our Code of Ethics & Professional Conduct from our Members Area. Make a professional statement and show the industry the ethical standards in which you abide by.

Below are some of our Association’s newest  members, and all abide by the Code:

Alina Giurgiu, Oradea City Tours

Craig Pascoe, Georgia College

Vicent Marottoli, Wine Lovers Tours

News | Association Graduates First Culinary-Certified Tourist Guides

Culinary Certified Tourist Guide

Today the World Food Travel Association announced the first four graduates of its culinary tourist guide certification program:

The Association launched the certification program last month to bring a level of professionalism and excellence to the profession of culinary tour guiding. The Culinary Tourist Guide Certification program is currently offered to European tourist guides who are members or affiliates of the European Federation of Tourist Guide Associations. The World Food Travel Association is actively working with other destinations to bring culinary tourist guide certification to their areas as well.

Learn more about the culinary tourist guide certification program, or get in touch and let us know where you live, and we’ll let you know when culinary tourist guide certification opens in your area.