The World Food Travel Association just held its 2019 FoodTreX Online Food Travel Summit on April 17-18.
FoodTreX Online is the world’s largest virtual trade conference for the food and beverage tourism trade, taking place every April, and only online. This year’s edition featured nine international expert speakers across a variety of industries that addressed today’s hot topics that destinations, tour operators and other food, beverage or tourism businesses are facing today.
Here are the top 3 takeaways that you need to know from the 2019 FoodTreX Online Summit:
1. YOU CAN MAKE MONEY SELLING VEGETARIAN AND VEGAN OPTIONS
Did you know that as much at 33% of travelers are either vegetarian or vegan? If you don’t offer a good vegetarian selection, you are neglecting many travelers as well as their traveling companions! Also, plant-based menu options are almost always cheaper than meat. Your food costs might be half, and even if you charge $/€/£ 1 or 2 less for the item, you’re still making a lot more per dish! So you are actually making money by offering vegetarian options. And meat-eaters eat vegetables too, so it is not uncommon for a meat-eater to order a vegetarian dish. Meat is not required! Then consider how sustainable-minded travelers are exactly the kind of visitors a destination wants: they tend to spend more, stay longer, and of course care about their own personal impact as travelers. It’s time to reconsider vegetarian and vegan!
2. WHERE ARE YOU IN THE FOOD TOURISM DESTINATION LIFE CYCLE?
All destinations have a food tourism destination life cycle (see picture above), a concept first pioneered by the World Food Travel Association. It is important to know at what stage of the cycle your destination is currently in so you can plan accordingly. Some destinations are starting to find their own way with food tourism, while others are starting to decline, for a variety of reasons. Perhaps it is time to create or to update your Food Tourism Destination Strategy before it is too late. (By the way: we can help with that!)
3. SHARE THE LOVE. DON’T HOG THE SOCIAL MEDIA SPOTLIGHT.
Shine the light on your local culinary heroes instead of just on your destination or specific foods. Sharing other people’s stories in your area widens your audience and brings engagement. Also don’t forget to involve local experts like writers, commentators or photographers. These professionals can bring new ideas and perspectives to your social media feed. Have you ever thought of hosting an Instagram takeover? That’s right: you hand over the keys to your Instagram castle to someone outside of your organization, perhaps for a weekend. It may seem risky, the rewards can be tremendous.
The FoodTreX Global Food Travel Summit takes place online every year in late April/early May.