In hospitality training, students learn about the importance of creating a memorable experience for guests. Whether they are welcoming customers at the front desk or scheduling staff to ensure that premises stay spotless, graduates of hospitality training know that even small details can make all the difference in a customer’s experience. In addition, there is another key aspect of accommodations that professionals know has a big impact on a guest’s stay: food. In fact, enjoying local cuisine can be one of the biggest factors that attract travellers to a destination. This is known as food tourism.
Food tourism is exactly what it sounds like. Food tourists are motivated to visit cities, hotels, and areas in order to experience foods that are specific to that part of the world. Food tourism presents an excellent opportunity for hospitality professionals to entice new visitors, provide new experiences to existing clients, and even access new marketing opportunities. Keep reading for a few ways you can promote food tourism during your career after hospitality training.
Food Tourism Is a Growing Opportunity
Food tourism is one of the fastest-growing hospitality sectors and, according to recent estimates, food has become the leading motivation for travel in the American market. The situation in Canada is similar, with culinary tourism becoming a more visible and important component of the hospitality and tourism industry.
It can include more than just restaurants; often, it also incorporates tours, cooking classes, and other interactive experiences that bring dining to life. Students in hospitality training who want to bring forward-thinking ideas and opportunities for growth into their future hospitality careers can keep track of current food tourism practices and trends in order to attract even more customers to their hotel or restaurant.
To Promote Your Hospitality Venue, Let Local Lead
One of the most exciting opportunities presented by food tourism is the opportunity to really differentiate the unique aspects of the local environment through food and flavor. Especially for small or remote locations that may struggle to draw in visitors, food tourism can be an excellent way to stand out from the crowd.
Many Canadian destinations have successfully leveraged food tourism to establish a local brand. For example, the Yukon Culinary Festival highlights the work of local chefs, attracting many visitors to Whitehorse who may have otherwise never made it there. Similarly, the small city of Camrose, Alberta has worked with Travel Alberta to promote a number of local culinary venues in a manner that highlights the area’s unique cultural history. Food tourism is a great way to take a location’s traditions and cultures and transform them into tourist attractions.
Improve Social Media Engagement
Finally, food tourism allows those with hospitality management to put their hospitality marketing skills into practice with new social media marketing opportunities. As any Instagram user is probably aware, taking and sharing photos of new and beautiful gourmet dinners, desserts, and treats is one of the most popular activities for many social media users. Eye-catching presentation, unique ingredients, or fun locations can all motivate individuals to share their dining experiences with others. In a way, good food tourism can help your customers market your venue for you!
Hospitality brands can encourage their clients to share organic, authentic content in a number of ways. Getting a hashtag started for your location can help improve visibility, and using your company’s own social media accounts can provide engagement between you and your customers that encourages further interaction. Building up a food-centric social media presence can be a great way to pique the interest of potential clients who may have otherwise missed out on your hospitality brand—a win for them and you!
It is just the tip of the hospitality iceberg.