Cruise & Ferry Review - Autumn/Winter 2020

1 7 8 Travellers are seeking opportunities to sample authentic local foods and cultures during their vacations INTERV IEW A growing appetite for food tourism World Food Travel Association’s Erik Wolf explains to Jon Ingleton why food is a significant influencing factor when travellers are making their vacation choices F ood tourism may be a relatively new concept, but humans have been travelling in search of food since the start of history. The only difference is that we’re now travelling for better food that helps to fully immerse us in the destinations that we visit. “Food tourism is simply travelling for a taste of place in order to get a sense of place,” says Erik Wolf, executive director of the World Food Travel Association (WFTA). “This definition is as simple as it gets. Researchers and governments often favour much more complex definitions, but for the majority of our industry, simpler is better.” WFTA was founded in 2003 to preserve and promote the awareness of culinary cultures through hospitality and tourism. With food often cited as a primary reason to cruise, the association is a natural partner for the industry. Wolf has a clear view about the approach passenger shipping companies should pursue as they seek to take advantage of food tourism’s pulling power: “Focus on selling the memories, not