North America Summit

November 12-13, 2020

100% Online - Pacific Standard Time Zone (PST)


Why FoodTreX North America?

The Business of Food Travel. The FoodTreX North America Summit connects destinations, entrepreneurs and key stakeholders to focus on the business of culinary tourism development and promotion, specifically from a North American perspective.


Hear expert advice from some of our industry’s most influential leaders


Ask our speakers your questions during live Q & A after each session


All sessions are designed to get you motivated and inspired


All times are Pacific Standard Time (PST)

  • Thursday, Nov. 12
  • Friday, Nov. 13

It goes without saying that it has been a rough year for our industry. Zero revenues, hardly any travel to speak of, and general stress all-around. Is it all doom and gloom? Food tourism industry founder Erik Wolf will discuss the current state of the industry and show you what else you can be doing to prepare for the kickstart of tourism.

Speaker: Erik Wolf, Executive Director & Founder, World Food Travel Association

How did a burned out music industry executive in London get the idea to move to the Caribbean island of Grenada to start a chocolate company? Aaron will take us on his journey from London to Grenada, and explain why and how he set up his chocolate company, discuss his challenges and successes, and offer lessons that can be applied to other passion product industries (cheese, seafood, wine, beer, whisky, olive oil, etc.)

Speaker: Aaron Sylvester, Founder, Tri-Island Chocolate (Grenada)

Like many other food tour companies, Cristina knew that to survive 2020, her business would need to pivot, but what would that mean exactly? If tourists aren’t coming, where should she focus? Locals of course. Cristina shares with us her pivot story, with an unexpected win-win local twist.

Speaker: Cristina McCarter, Owner & Culinary Guide, City Tasting Tours (Memphis, TN, USA)

Knowing what to pitch to whom has always been a bit of a fine art. That task just got a lot more complicated with the COVID pandemic. We will hear from these consummate PR professionals who will share their newest tools of the trade – to help you pitch the right messages that writers want to hear about right now.

Speakers: Chantal Cooke, Owner, Panpathic Communications (London, UK)
Bri Kelly, Thompson & Co. Public Relations (Anchorage, Alaska, USA)

Crazy times call for thinking outside the box. Like many other food tour companies, Arigato Japan created their own online experiences, they were actually first to do this in Japan. But for their next step they did something a little different.  When they approached Shizuoka Prefecture, they had in mind to create a different kind of virtual experience empowering local communities to help everyone move forward! Learn what they did differently.

Speaker: Lauren Shannon, General Manager & Partner, Arigato Japan Food Tours (Tokyo, Japan)

Everyone loves food porn and why not get a little sexy inspiration for our next indulgence? You usually turn to Instagram, right? A solid choice, but have you considered Pinterest? Often the most overlooked, but potentially most valuable tool in the toolbox in food travel marketing, Veruska will explain why Pinterest is so beneficial and what you need to do to get started quickly and optimize your presence there.

Speaker: Veruska Anconitano, Award-Winning Freelance Journalist (Ireland)

If you haven’t thought about it before, the time is here to start thinking about it. Indigenous peoples all around the world have their own rich cuisines, some of which pale in comparison to the dominant cuisine where they are. Rising to the occasion, indigenous chefs are taking center stage now and becoming the next big culinary stars. Dana will walk us through The Sioux Chef business backstory, and discuss what they are doing differently from other chefs. She’ll end with ideas of what you can be doing in your area to be more inclusive of indigenous culinary cultures in food tours and destination marketing.

Speaker: Dana Thompson, Co-owner/ Chief Operating Officer, The Sioux Chef (Minneapolis, MN, USA)

There has been a lot of talk about pivoting during the pandemic. Tour operators have found a number of creative ways to adjust their business models. In this session, we will speak with two food tour operators and one cooking class platform and learn about the success they have had with an unexpected pivot.

Speakers: Aashi Vel, Co-Founder, Traveling Spoon; Lauren McCabe Herpich, Founder, Local Food Adventures (both Oakland, CA, USA)
Moderator: Midgi Moore, Juneau Food Tours (Juneau, AK, USA)

It is no secret. The world has changed. Travel has changed and is still changing. Hotels, destination management companies, guides, travel agencies, tourism boards, governments and others are trying to discern what the future holds for both them and their customers. We are all trying to figure out how to cope now to survive the existing situation and prepare for the future. But how do we do that? In this session, Jason will answer share his ideas as to how group travel will evolve.

Speaker: Jason Holland, Travel Butler and Owner, Travel Simplicity (York, PA, USA)

 – Really! During this inspiring presentation, intrepid traveler, culinary storyteller and WFTA Ambassador Steven Shomler shares firsthand stories from the front lines of the battle that we are all facing. Some of his stories include how a beloved donut shop in Bozeman, Montana has survived and how a Portland, Oregon Ramen Shop has thrived. Or the heartache of 48 hours in Greece and the mission-driven couple from Las Vegas drinking wine in a Spokane, Washington tasting room committed to doing their part to keep local food businesses going. Lastly – you will learn a handful of doable steps to attract those passionate food-loving travelers who are already heading out the door to enjoy both magnificent meals and  experience soul satisfying travel experiences.

Speaker: Steven Shomler (Founder, Culinary Treasure Network; CEO, Spark to Bonfire Consulting; President, Shomler Media Group; Author; Speaker)



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Destination Marketers, Tourism Boards, Governments, Tour Operators, Tourist Guides, Media, Journalists, Accomodation, Lodging, Chefs, Restaurant Owners, Academia, Researchers, and anyone else who is interested in food tourism!

Prices vary by event so check the registration area for registration pricing. The price is the same for everyone – business owners, academics, journalists, government officials, tourism offices, etc. No VAT or any other tax is payable because we produce the Summit from our offices in the USA.

Not at all. All paid registrations include links to video recordings of all sessions. So, if the Summit takes place during the night where you are, or if you simply have something else going on that day, you can still get all the great content – on your own time. The only thing you miss by not attending live is the opportunity to ask questions and answers from the presenters.