Every tourist has one thing in common … they eat.
Rebecca LeHeup of Culinary Ontario presented at Central Iowa Tourism and shared why and how to have culinary tourism.
Culinary tourism is defined by www.culinaryontario.com as the pursuit of unique and memorable eating and drinking experiences. By combining travel with these edible experiences, culinary tourism offers both locals and tourists alike an authentic taste of place in our bountiful province.
Are you considering adding culinary tourism into your marketing mix for your community? There are three things you need:
Culinary tourism includes:
A Few Statistics:
- Culinary Tourism has a 3:1 impact on local economy. That means for every $1 spent on food $3 comes back into the community.
- One third of tourism spending worldwide is spent on food. 60-70 percent of farmers market shoppers visit other neighboring businesses.
- Food tourists are concerned about the origin of their food. They have higher than average spending, a strong level of loyalty and are usually masters of social media.
- They want the VIP treatment and are looking for authentic stories to go with their food.
The Show and Tell Rules:
Culinary tourists are getting younger!
- A taste of place and will spend more money on this than on hotels.
- They use social media, posting both good and bad reviews as they experience them. They also read social media and are looking for your stories, pictures and details.
- 52 percent book online using mobile devices. Is your site mobile ready?
- 60 percent of bookings occur within 24 hours of their stay.
- The average consumer visits 32 sites before they book.
- Mobile mobile mobile – better be ready!
Tell the local story:
- Offer a unique taste of place. What are you doing different from everyone else?
- Serve and sell local food.
- Promote where the food is sourced from. Did you buy from the farmer down the road? Is it organic? Who is he/she? What is their story?
- Promote partnerships – the tomatoes came from the local farmers market, the local farmer delivers to you every Friday, your Chamber has dinners in your restaurant quarterly.