When food became a “thing” a few years ago I thought it was a passing fad.
Well, I was so wrong.
I am not a foodie. I don’t drizzle, infuse, blend or add chilli. In fact, I can’t really drive a kitchen very well at all.
Today at eTAS ( e Tourism Africa Summit ) one of the key messages was how food is playing a huge role in travel.
Firstly we were told that Chefs are being told to prepare photogenic meals. This means buffets are out. They look terrible in pictures. It seems that food must be pretty first, comment worthy second, and taste OK last.
Search online and you will find numerous links to tricks for photographing food. “Tweet before you eat” has become the norm. So much so that a restaurant did a survey and realised that numbers were down because people were staying at their tables longer. Only because of the time it took to photograph, edit and upload pictures of their food before they started to eat it.
What would have been bizarre a few years ago has become the norm. I even try to do it myself, but not very adept at it!
In France where food is everything, they are considering banning the photographing of food in restaurants as they say the copyright of the plated food art belongs to the Chef.
I say the world is going mad, but we better start being nice to Chefs as they are becoming key role players in tourism.
Seriously, in Britain apparently a staggering 50 % of travellers make their travel choices based on food. I thought I had misheard that statement, but no, it is a true story.
88% of destinations are using food as a reason to visit, and clearly it is working. We are told that travel is evolving and we need to know our customers and audience. Today I learned that my audience is either hungry or watches way too much TV on the Food Channels.
That said, it’s good to know that Cape Town as a global food destination is surpassed only by Vietnam.
Our visitors are hungry for a food adventure with Table Mountain as a pretty backdrop.
Restaurants seem to be the new way to start your online travel research. Any eatery that does not have fast free wifi and a presence on FaceBook, Instagram, TripAdvisor, and Twitter, and a charismatic chef who can produce photogenic food is missing out on a huge opportunity.
In conclusion, the marketing recipe for future success for any tourism business is to align yourself with food providers in your area, and find a way to whet the appetite of hungry travellers.