All Posts by WFTA

News | New Free Toolkit for Successful Destination and Community Branding

london cityscape

Announcing a New Free Toolkit for Successful Destination and Community Branding

It’s a hard pill to swallow, but the truth is, the world is littered with failed branding efforts on behalf of nations, cities and regions. Developing a sustainable place brand offers tremendous rewards if done correctly. However, these well-meaning efforts often stumble into confusion and encounter pitfalls which could easily have been avoided if leaders had understood the unexpected nuances of place branding. They don’t recognize that it’s somewhat different to branding privately held enterprises and products, until it’s too late. Or they mistakenly believe that their brand is a logo, tagline or theme for a communications campaign.

Many city branding projects get off to a great start with a lot of publicity and energy, only to soon run out of steam. There are many issues that can contribute to a failed brand. After decades of hands on experience in branding places, long-time World Food Travel Association partner Bill Baker (from Destination Branding) has released the first in a series of free PDF e-books titled ‘Branding Small Cities’.

The series tackles many of the issues facing tourism leaders and government officials when launching and managing a branding initiative. Each e-book is a hands-on toolkit that tackles a different topic related to the challenges of branding places. The series covers:

  1. Introduction to small city and place branding
  2. Why bother with branding cities?
  3. Why does city branding need a strategic and long-term focus?
  4. What’s needed for your city’s brand journey?
  5. How to manage your community branding process?
  6. How to reveal your city’s most potent brand?
  7. What are the secrets to a successful logo design?
  8. What are the keys to winning taglines?
  9. How do you deploy a destination brand?
  10. Branded wayfinding for cities and destinations

While the series is titled ‘Branding Small Cities’ the ideas and advice can be just as readily applied to regions, counties, scenic byways, Main Streets, heritage districts, suburbs, and neighborhoods – and even states, provinces, regions and nations.

Register here to receive the series.  If the hyperlink isn’t working for you, please visit

Bill Baker is Chief Strategist for Total Destination Marketing based in Portland, Oregon, USA. Bill is recognized internationally as an author, speaker and his pioneer work in creating brand strategies for places of all sizes, from nations to small cities. He has more than 30 years destination branding and marketing experience in more than thirty countries.

News | Just Released! Ground-Breaking New State of the Food Travel Industry Report

state of the food travel industry

Today the World Food Travel Association (WFTA) released its latest publication for the food and beverage tourism industry, an entirely revamped State of the Food Travel Industry Report, featuring original, ground-breaking research.

Report Summary

The 62-page report compiles the opinions, suggestions and comments from 71 food and beverage tourism industry experts from 20 countries. The report looks at the performance of food and beverage tourism providers, and suggests ways they can improve, such as by developing or improving food and drink activities. It also looks at key food tourism issues overall, along with ways our industry can better match traveler expectations. Considerable attention is given to preserving culinary authenticity, and why it is important to educate visitors, offering them a memory and not just a meal.

Key Takeaways

Some of the key takeaways from the report include:

  1. Travelers and consumers alike are more obsessed than ever with everything having to do with food and drink. Interest continues to increase thanks largely to the role of social media.
  2. Providing a genuinely authentic product or experience is essential. Visitors are increasingly knowledgeable about, and demanding of, authenticity in food/drink products and experiences.
  3. The need for cultural preservation is urgent, and not limited to cuisine, as other manifestations of culture, such as music, clothing/fashion, architecture and more are threatened by globalization.
  4. Failure to support small food/beverage businesses will result in hastening towards globalization of the so-called “local” experience, thereby completely negating one of the main reasons to travel for food and drink, as destinations are already beginning to resemble each other more and more.
  5. At the same time, residents would benefit from knowing more about the history of iconic culinary products and traditions in their area, and why preserving culinary culture is a tool for economic development. Therefore local residents should be considered an important target market.
  6. The food/drink experiences provided by businesses and destinations often don’t match visitor expectations.Businesses need to understand that they are selling not just a food/beverage product but also an experience. If visitor (customer) expectations are not met, negative word-of-mouth ensues. Know your customer journey and plan accordingly to help prevent that.
  7. The benefits of developing food tourism go well beyond actual tourism. Food tourism is not just about attracting more visitors who generate a positive economic impact with their spending. It can also help protect local heritage by putting the spotlight on local food and drink, conveying a sense of pride to local residents, and even fostering post-trip demand for product exports.


Get a Free Copy of the Report

Register for a free copy of the report. The report is another way that the World Food Travel Association (WFTA) leads with firsts for the world’s food and beverage tourism industry.


About the World Food Travel Association

The World Food Travel Association (WFTA) was founded in 2003 as a non-profit and non-governmental organization (NGO) and is considered the world’s leading authority on food and beverage tourism. The Association’s mission is to empower local communities and businesses with the food and beverage tourism knowledge and tools needed to reach new consumers and gain a competitive edge. Each year the Association serves the needs of nearly 100,000+ professionals in over 100 countries.

News | First Wellness Ambassador Appointed to the World Food Travel Association

Camille Hoheb Wellness Tourism

Los Angeles-based wellness tourism expert, Camille Hoheb has been appointed as the first Southern Californian Certified Ambassador to the World Food Travel Association. The ambassadorship is an invitation-only leadership position for tourism professionals who demonstrate a commitment to food tourism and who contribute to the development and advancement of food tourism.

Camille Hoheb is the President of Wellness Tourism Worldwide (WTW). She has received 9 awards given for tourism marketing excellence at the One Travel Conference and was recognized as a “Trendsetter” by TravelAge West MagazineWomen in Travel and Tourism International recently awarded Camille as “outstanding mentor in tourism.” Camille is the author of The Guide to Selling Wellness Travel, US Vacationers: Health, Happiness & Productivity and Wellness Travel: Shaping America’s Health & Economy as well as a contributing author on wellness tourism for the Sage International Encyclopedia of Tourism. She is a travel writer and international speaker, and is frequently interviewed and quoted for her insights on wellness tourism. Camille is an Ambassador to Global Wellness Day.

Camille Hoheb, President of Wellness Tourism Worldwide and Erik Wolf, President of World Food Travel Association have long supported each other’s efforts when they first announced a formal partnership agreement in 2013. Both are focused on creating economic opportunities where food and wellness intersects with travel and hospitality. Since then, wellness has gained tremendous acceptance in both the public and private sector as wellness now represents a US$4 trillion economy influencing how people eat, live, work, travel and play. Wellness was also included as a topic of watch in the Association’s brand new State of the Food Tourism Industry 2018 Annual Report (available for free download on the Association’s website).

Mirroring the Association’s work, but adding a wellness focus, Camille provides leadership to destinations, travel suppliers, travel sellers in the promotion of wellness tourism. This is a partnership that supports both leaders’ visions.

“We’re excited to have representation in this important wellness sector among our Ambassador ranks. Camille is one of the world’s foremost experts on wellness and we feel privileged to be working with her,” says food tourism industry founder and Executive Director of World Food Travel Association Erik Wolf.

Camille added, “As people become increasingly wellness-minded, food is an important to wellness vacations, corporate retreats, meetings and for business travel and I am thrilled to team up with the World Food Travel Association, and to be a Certified Ambassador as a champion of food, wellness and travel.

News | FoodTreX Pamplona Speakers Announced


Join us February 21-22 in Navarre, Spain for FoodTreX Pamplona, the most important gastronomy tourism trade conference that is held in Spain.

A fundamental objective of the Second International Conference on Gastronomy Tourism, FoodTrex Pamplona, is to bring you speakers, tools, ideas and best practices to develop products that visitors want, and to learn how to promote products and experiences to visitors in the best possible way. As one of the food tourism industry’s leading events for the trade, you’ll meet leaders, experts, influencers and practitioners from all around the world, who will present ideas to help grow your business and improve the experiences you offer.

Better gastronomy-oriented businesses and experiences can bring more visitors, more income and local taxes, better community development, and more product exports. This is a critical discovery identified by expert panelists in the 2019 State of the Food Travel Industry Report by the World Food Travel Association. Without the proper direction and planning however, a destination’s food tourism potential may remain untapped, or fall into an unsustainable pattern that undermines its future. The goal should be to provide meaningful food and drink related experiences that give visitors a true taste of your destination and create raving fans, convinced guests who will continue to promote your product or destination long after they depart. Attend FoodTreX Pamplona to get the proper direction you need to succeed, including answers to questions such as:

  • How to identify opportunities and define achievable objectives.
  • How to create an effective development strategy.
  • How to involve all the actors in the development strategy.
  • How to create Gastronomic Tourism experiences.
  • How to reach the customer.
  • How to adapt to the market.
  • What are the latest trends and fashions embraced by food lovers.

Over 25 confirmed speakers for the two-day conference include:

  • Erik Wolf, World Food Travel Association, USA.
  • Marc Crothall, Food Tourism Board and Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scotland, UK.
  • Dra. Luisa Puppo, Ligucibario, Italy.
  • Chantal Cooke, Passion for the Planet, UK.
  • Clara Bosh, Ruta del Vino Somontano, Spain.
  • Sophie Cassis, Green Haven Gardens and Le Bon Goût Frais des Îles de la Madeleine, Québec, Canada.
  • Margarita Calleja, Extremadura Turismo, Spain.
  • Kathryn Davis, Visit Bristol, UK.
  • Antoni Aguiló. Fra Roger Association for Food and Culture, Menorca, Spain.
  • Kosuke Nakamori, Manager, Japan National Tourism Organization, Japan.

If you’re in the area, or if food tourism in Spain is important to you, you cannot afford to miss this major industry event.

Learn more and register here.

News | Meet Association Member Luisa Puppo from Italy

luisa puppo

Meet Luisa Puppo, one of the Association’s newest members. Luisa is the founder and owner of Welcome Management – Ligucibario®. Since 1994, her expertise has largely been with destinations, food and wine experiential tourism, marketing and training professionals. Ligucibario® is a dynamic on- & off-line platform which she created with her business partner and husband, Umberto Curti. Together they specialize in Ligurian ethnogastronomy, crafts, cultures and traditions. Ligucibario® is the corporate brand of Welcome Management (est. 2001), a consultancy firm specialized in marketing and training for the tourism, enogastronomy and retail sectors.

As a senior consultant (project design, project coordinator, AE trainer), she works on account of VET centres, universities, SME organizations (tourism, crafts, food & wine), consortia, Chambers of Commerce and other local authorities. She specializes in the varied facets of destination management and branding, with a focus on rural areas and special interest tourism (e.g., food & wine, crafts, art & culture, activities & sports).

Luisa is a gourmet, an English lecturer, translator and blogger. She is the co-author of “Day by day English.” or in Italian, “L’inglese quotidiano per l’accoglienza turistico-commerciale”, as well as “Genova gourmet. Storie e ricette della tradizione  (History, recipes and traditions)” and also “A scuola di cacao. conosci e degusta il cioccolato”, or in English, “The cocoa school. Learn and taste chocolate”. She also edits the LiguriabyLuisa blog (in English).

She grew up in an Italian family lead by the archetypical “Nonna” (Grandma) who mastered both the art of choosing ingredients and traditional cuisine. Moreover, her father was a gourmet and a wine expert. He used to take her and her brother along his foodie tours, through wine cellars, manufacturers and restaurants.

Among her favorite foodie destinations, Luisa named France (“a multi-fold gourmet traveller’s paradise just around the corner from Liguria. I love the way they market wine and cheese.”); Italy’s Piedmont region (“the perfect match of sumptuous landscapes and food and wine excellence, not to forget cultural resources. A kaleidoscope of traditions, from the hearty dishes of rural areas to the elegance of court cuisine in Turin.”) and of course, Liguria (“a unique mix of sea and mountains, a crossroads of routes and trades, a food and wine history handbook – and the cradle of Mediterranean cuisine as well. All of that in a handful of kilometres.”) Those sound like three great choices to us.

Luisa joined the World Food Travel Association for benchmarking, networking and exchange of experiences and best practices. These “keywords” are truer than ever when it comes to food, wine and tourism – a “concentrate of contaminations and conviviality. The scope and aim of WFTA suit this all.” Besides the networking opportunities, Luisa is looking forward to participating in the Association’s events. Luisa recommends to prospective members to join the Association to widen their professional network, exchange views, increase their visibility, and to attend events and take advantage of training opportunities (discounted for members, of course).

In the near future, Luisa looks forward to the launch of her new LiguriabyLuisa blog and a series of projects dedicated to food & wine experiential tourism that will encompass education and destination marketing/product design.

Welcome Luisa. It’s a pleasure to have you in our community!

News | What We Did at WTM 2017


What We Did At WTM 2017

We attended World Travel Market (WTM) this year with two primary goals in mind: 1) to benefit our members and 2) to move our industry forward. 

Our first order of business was a panel we hosted entitled “Getting Food Tourism Right“. We’ve observed that even though our industry is 17 years old, many destination marketers and service providers still don’t understand the full scope of what “food tourism” means and consequently, are not realizing their full business potential. To some, “food tourism” is the mere act of dining out so a list of restaurants seems sufficient. To others, it’s visiting wineries. Food tourism can include those things, but it is usually so much more. To help illustrate the breadth of our industry and the types of business involved, we presented an in-depth, two-hour long session where we heard from some of our industry’s leading players in food tourism, including Failte IrelandEating Europe Food ToursVizEat, the Piedmont region of ItalyLa Cucina Caldesi Cookery School in London, and Great British Chefs. We talked a little about who food travelers are, what they like and how to get started in our industry. Nearly 300 people attended this 2-hour session.

Of course we attended WTM with our industry in mind. Over the course of the three day event, our schedule was full with 24 meetings from a variety of businesses, such as tourism offices, trade associations, advertising and public relations agencies, market research firms, journalists and bloggers and even a television producer. Many of these companies wanted to know how to work better together with us, while we explored working partnerships with other companies like KOAN Consulting based in Madrid, Spain. We’re sorry if we could not fit you into our schedule this year and encourage you to get in touch earlier next year as we really would like to meet as many of our industry partners as possible! The conversations we had in these appointments will contribute to our 2018 strategic plan, product development and marketing initiatives. Lots of exciting things scheduled for 2018!

Thanks to everyone who attended our panel discussion and who attended WTM. It’s a great event and one not to be missed. Mark your calendars for next year’s World Travel Market which takes place November 5-7, 2018 in London.


News | Meet Us at World Travel Market in November

london bus picadilly circus

For the third year in a row, the World Food Travel Association is pleased to host a food tourism session for World Travel Market (WTM) in London, the world’s second largest travel industry trade event.

This year’s session is entitled “Getting Food Tourism Right” and will take place on Tuesday, November 7, from 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM. The 2-hour session will interview leading representatives from various tourism industry sectors and show different ways of “doing food tourism the right way”. If you’re attending WTM, you can’t afford to miss this session. We also have a very limited number of appointment slots available on Tuesday, November 7 and Wednesday, November 8. If you’d like to arrange an appointment onsite at WTM, please email us here with details of your request.

News | Food Tourism Makes Impact at Chile’s Tourism Summit

Chilean Soup

Food Tourism Makes Impact at Chile’s Tourism Summit

Chile’s first national tourism industry summit sponsored by FEDETUR took place September 12-13 in Santiago, and by all accounts, it was a great first event attended by about 500 industry professionals from around the country. World Food Travel Association Executive Director Erik Wolf delivered a session on food tourism that was very well-received. The gist of the presentation was that Chile has a huge potential but a lot of work needs to be done, including development of national pride for the country’s food and drink, promotion of iconic food and beverage products, cataloguing high quality food/ beverage multimedia assets, development of a regional success story within Chile (such as the northern Patagonia region) and a few other tips. We look forward to following Chile’s development in our sector.

News | Midgi Moore Talks About Eagle Farts & Alaska’s Food Scene

Midgi Moore Juneau Food Tours

Midgi Moore Talks About Eagle Farts & Alaska’s Food Scene

Hello! My name is Midgi Moore. I am a food writer/blogger and own Juneau Food Tours. Juneau Food Tours (JFT) provides culinary experiences in downtown Juneau, Alaska. Our primary tour, Tour with Taste, highlights the growing and electric dining scene in Alaska’s capital city. We focus on Alaska’s wild and sustainable seafood and showcase it through tastings at Juneau’s top dining locations.The tour includes everything from casual food truck fare to fine dining with a wine pairing. Our newest tour, Juneau Bites & Booze, shares the emerging bar scene in our city. This option features locally brewed beers, craft cocktails, and a local favorite — an “eagle fart” — which is a shot with Bailey’s, Kahlua, and vodka. Food tastings feature local bar food and savory dishes such as fish tacos and the ever popular “super tots”.

Visiting Alaska can often be a lifetime dream. People long to see bears, glaciers, and wildlife. While here, they also want to enjoy Alaskan food, particularly seafood. Food plays such a key component in a person’s Alaskan experience. It is our goal at JFT to provide lasting memories through sharing the food, history, and culture of the Last Frontier. Our mission is simple: To deliver tasty memories.

I began my career in food by writing a modest food blog, Meals with Midgi. This started as a fun option to share my Alaskan adventures, cooking tips, and recipes with my friends and family. The blog gathered a following and soon it was picked up by one of our local papers, Capital City Weekly.

My day job was managing the visitors centers and volunteer staff for Travel Juneau, the city’s destination marketing organization. After four years of employment there, I combined my knowledge of the industry and my passion for all things food and created Juneau Food Tours. The rest, as they say, is delicious history.  

I have worked diligently to tell the culinary story of Alaska, especially Juneau, as it is my home. I believe we have chefs and food sources that are unequaled in other parts of the United States and that we offer a culinary experience that is unique. For example, Juneau has a chef that is a two-time James Beard nominee, as well as a chef that is Michelin star trained. Pretty impressive for a land-locked city with only 32,000 residents. What we bring to the table, if you’ll pardon the pun, is the inherent tie to the land, sea, and communities of our state. I firmly believe Alaska is a dining destination and worth traveling to for the food experience.

But I’ve found great food elsewhere too. First, I’d have to choose Chicago for food and drink. I love that city. I’ve been there several times and it is a place I would absolutely visit just for the dining experiences. I love how walkable and easily accessible the city is and how friendly everyone was to me. I’ve never had a terrible experience there. Second, I’d say Savannah, Georgia. It’s close to my hometown, Hinesville, where I grew up. It holds the flavors of my people and embraces the gentility of the southern lifestyle.  It’s a beautiful city full of art, history, and the food of my childhood. Yet I can’t overlook my Juneau, Alaska. I may be biased, but I have traveled extensively throughout the US and every time I come home, I am so impressed with the culinary experiences our restaurants and chefs deliver.

I joined the World Food Travel Association (WFTA) to network and learn from my peers. I believe that food travel and tourism industry is barely taking off and I want to be a part of that adventure. As a growing industry, it is essential we work together to help tell our stories and share information. I believe being a member of WFTA will help me grow professionally to continue delivering tasty memories to JFT guests and visitors to Alaska. I recently completed the Certified Culinary Travel Professional training. I am very excited to have earned the certification and hope someday to be recognized as an Ambassador.

JFT hosted our first guest in May 2015. In August 2016, we celebrated our 1,000th guest. The growth of the business has been exponential and we are excited for the future. This year we launched our second tour option, Juneau Bites and Booze, and in 2018, we plan to partner with another tour operator in Juneau to offer a culinary adventure experience. It will blend the best of Alaska adventures with the best dining experiences.  Our next milestone, which we hope to reach in 2019, will be to open a second location in Alaska.

I strongly encourage memberships in trade organizations. WFTA offers the opportunity to network and collaborate with industry colleagues and leaders.  Our industry is relatively young when one considers how many people think about what they will eat when they travel. The food tour industry is less than 20 years old, yet sharing a meal with someone goes back eons.  Being a part of a unified voice helps us tell our story together. A collective voice is an effective voice. 

News | Wojtek Osinski from Poland Talks About Food Tourism

Wojtek Osinski

We’d like to introduce you to Wojtek Osinski, a gold member of the World Food Travel Association. He manages TastePoland, a blog dedicated to unique food and beverage in Poland. Use his website as a resource when planning a trip to Poland.

How did you become interested in food tourism?

I came to the Association through my own love of food. I had traveled extensively around the world, and no matter where I went, the food and drink I tasted (like authentic pad thai from the streets of Bangkok or a real mojito in Havana) created indelible memories. Then when my daughter was born, travel became increasingly difficult. I decided to change my focus to my own country, Poland. All of Poland is accessible 3-4 hours in any direction from Warsaw, which lies roughly in the center. This allowed me to take more area trips with my family.

In journeying around my own country, I discovered untold wonders like ”oscypek” (sheep cheese typical of the mountain areas) produced moments before our arrival by shepherds in their hut, a Jewish restaurant in a small town in eastern Poland, a gourmet snail farm, and even wineries!  During these trips, I realized that it is usually quite difficult to find such places. That’s when Taste Poland was born.

How did you first hear about the WFTA?

I was familiar with the World Food Travel Association (WFTA) because I had met its Executive Director Erik Wolf in Poland two years ago. He was invited by Kasia Janiszewska, the Association’s Ambassador in Poland, who arranged for him to be a guest speaker at a meeting of the Poland Culinary Tourism Association. We went out to dinner, drank wine and vodka, and I introduced Erik to many typical Polish foods. Then I began to do more with Taste Poland, and I found myself back on the WFTA website, where I learned about the Certified Culinary Travel Professional program. I enrolled in the program, which was helpful because it filled in a lot of gaps in my knowledge about food tourism. I’m using the CCTP logo customized with my name on my Taste Poland website – it gives additional value for me to be seen as an expert in the field of food tourism. I also got the Have Fork Will Travel book – I’ve never found more information about food and beverage tourism in one place.

What do you like about the World Food Travel Association?

I appreciate the WFTA for the learning resources that it brings to our industry, the contacts I’ve met through the Association, and also how the WFTA has helped to spread the word about what I do. There’s no other organization in the world that does what the WFTA does.

What’s next for you and your company?

I have a couple of ideas for summer trips and hopefully will have more time to write about places, and try some new ones. I’d like to attract true foodies from outside Poland, so that is my next focus. To do that, I’ll need to have an English language version of my website. It will be worth it to give inspiration to foreign and local tourists alike to discover the wonders of Poland through our food and drink.

What advice do you have for prospective members of the Association?

Nowadays WFTA is changing. It listened to the needs of its community. Just a month ago, it launched a new community networking platform to encourage more direct contact among Association members. You can promote your own events in the event calendar, post jobs, and more. The cost is extremely small so you can afford to test it out without a big risk.  The new WFTA is worth checking out.  And just like the Association has evolved, so has its education. I am planning to take new Masterclass course called “Designing the Perfect Food or Beverage Tour & Tour Business”, which is delivered on the state-of-the-art Udemy learning platform. Being a member gets you a discount to training like this.

How can readers get in touch with you?

Feel free to visit the Taste Poland website, or also our Facebook page. Regular email works just fine too: wojtek(dot)osinski(at)wp(dot)pl

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