Association News

The Link Between Special Diets & Destination Marketing

Sustainability in food tourism requires more than just environmental awareness and inclusivity of others. Specifically, in our “new normal,” consumers expect a sustainability commitment that businesses create products and itineraries that meet changing consumer demands. And because food is more than just a necessity – it is now a hobby and a passion, we see that food and beverage tourism can have more potential than ever before.

At the World Food Travel Association, we recognize the important contribution of sustainability in developing food and beverage tourism products, experiences, businesses, and communities. This year at our FoodTrex Global Summit taking place on April 15–16, we have put together an expert roster of speakers who will help us all to transform our businesses and destinations, and help us to meet the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit.

In culinary tourism (or gastronomy tourism or food and beverage tourism, depending on your preference), sustainability plays a significant role in addressing the value and meaning placed on food. The food, beverage, tourism, and hospitality sectors are expected to adjust and even innovate their products for travellers and consumers who prefer special diets. Flexibility will be an important asset in how much success tourism businesses can achieve in the future.

Over the past decade, interest in special diets has soared – vegan, vegetarian, kosher, nut-free, plant-based diet, gluten-free, and so on. A “Veganuary” survey in 2020 reported that the 402,206 people from 192 countries who signed up for Veganuary has exceeded the previous record of 250,000 in 2019. This shows that veganism is far more than just a trend. Similarly, a 2017 report from global analytics company Nielsen stated that almost 39% of people who are not vegan are actively trying to incorporate more plant-based food into their diets. That’s more than a fad – it’s close to becoming a majority.

Each of these tourists and travellers has a different purpose for making their diets more of a lifestyle and even ethical choice. While some people practise it as part of their culture, many of them are changing to support animal welfare, the environment and their own health and medical needs. These travellers, whatever their needs, experience more difficulties at every stage of their food-loving journey.

Every stakeholder of our industry must play their part in protecting the planet. Tourism offices, tour operators, travel agencies, accommodations, and related businesses must collectively provide services and products suited to changing consumer demands. Effective marketing strategies and communication are then needed to showcase these new products and experiences to their target customers.

To provide you with more insights to help you to serve changing consumer demands and a growing market segment, we have brought together an engaging session with leading experts.

Moderating the session will be Chantal Cooke, a media personality from the UK whose Passion for the Planet radio show is broadcast around the world. The first panelist is Shivya Nath (India), an award-winning travel blogger and author and contributor to National Geographic Traveller, BBC Travel, and a TEDx speaker. 

Joining the panel is Zac Lovas, co-founder of VegVoyages Vegan Adventure Tours. He has more than 15 years of experience in this industry and actively promotes and encourages more plant-based initiatives around Asian countries.

Get ready to grow your business without compromising on sustainability through the intriguing session with our speakers.

Learn more about FoodTrex Global and register now to attend.

Written by Nivethitha Bharathi. Edited by Erik Wolf.

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Based mainly in Colorado. Loves cheese, rain, and starry nights. Can usually be spotted in the wild wearing a Spirit Jersey and balancing two cameras. Often laughs and cries at the same time. Barely survived one Master's program, but wants to do another.

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