#DESTINEERING THROUGH FOOD AND WINE
Skift recently released a Food Tourism report in association with the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance (OCTA) that caught our attention, being in the food and wine tourism business. As we knew all along, Destinate has been bang on trend since its inception in 2013.
This is what stood out for us:
1. Food tourism is on the rise!
2. It tells the story of a destination’s history and culture.
3. Cuisine has always been an important part of the travel experience but the concept of traveling to a destination specifically for its food is a relatively recent trend.
4. There are three types of foodie travellers - people who deliberately plan their trips around food, people who incorporate a food experience into their itinerary, and people who decide where to dine in the moment.
5. Driven by today’s intense social media activity, destinations are developing local food-themed travel products and promotions to tell their brands story.
6. They are also successfully integrating user-generated content into their promotional campaigns, while at the same time developing their own content platforms in cooperation with local food tourism suppliers
7. An effective food tourism strategy includes a broad selection of activities beyond food, including wine and beer festivals, artisanal products, interactive food tours, cooking classes, wine tastings, farm-to-table restaurant offerings, farmers’ markets, and heritage and culture.
In 2014, Destinate launched a hugely successful campaign called the Stellenbosch Experience. Essentially a joint venture between Stellenbosch Wine Routes and Stellenbosch 360, the initiative is driven by Destinate and aims to promote Stellenbosch as a leading food and wine tourism destination, as well as to showcase the depth of the regions offering beyond its quality wine. Elements of the campaign included buy-in and participation from members, an integrated traditional and digital media strategy, hosting national and international trade and media in Stellenbosch, and a fun food and wine fuelled event with some of Stellenbosch’s top wineries and offerings as sponsors.
We’ve just headed into the second year of the campaign with 2014 marketing partners saying:
"The Stellenbosch Experience was a great initiative for the Stellenbosch region as a whole and was well worth the investment. It was a very successful project that not only amplified awareness around the region, but also garnered exposure for individual partners that were participating in the campaign."
- Kobus Basson, Kleine Zalze
"The Stellenbosch Experience campaign was a dynamic and trendy affair, which is exactly what we needed in this town. We hope that the creativity of communication will keep on this year with some exciting new projects which we want to be part of as a tourism partner!"
- Karine Dequeker, Majeka House
"The Stellenbosch Experience was a great success in 2014, particularly for Middelvlei as a partner. The results of the campaign were beyond expectations and the coverage that Middelvlei received as a partner was more than what our marketing budget could have achieved alone."
- Jeanneret Momberg, Middelvlei
Read more about the 2014 campaign here.
The report went on to highlight six key strategies to developing food tourism:
1. First, determine if you have enough offerings for food tourists
2. Then start creating a valuable network of those hospitality and tourism suppliers
3. Collaborate with this network to build authentic food tourism experiences
4. Create special events or tag on to existing festivals where you can showcase your foodie offerings
5. Develop a visually engaging and integrated marketing campaign with social media promotions
6. Measure everything and share your successes
Here, two trends merge – the rise of food tourism and the rise of millennial travel. According to Skift, “Millennials’ relationship to food is special. They want it to be authentic, they want to know how it was produced, and they want it to be a shared experience”.
Millenials want to travel like locals and are always on the lookout for those little known gems that don’t make the big marketing campaigns. As ‘always connected travellers’ the best way to speak to this market is digitally – and they’ll speak on your behalf too, when they tell all their family and friends what a wonderful time they’re having with visuals and hashtags flying across their social streams. Rightfully so, Skift says “look at millennial travelers’ behaviors today and you will have insights into the mass-market trends of 2020”.
According to Skift’s earlier “The Rise of the Millennial Traveler” report, some of the ways destinations can attract more millennial travellers is by creating a local travel blog, having a social media presence and crowdsourcing content, paying attention to user reviews, investing in great imagery and video content, and collaborating with online influencers.
#Stellenblog checks all these boxes and more, and is set to make waves in its second consecutive year.
Keep an eye on the campaign by following #visitStellenbosch…and when in Cape Town again, really visit Stellenbosch. You won’t be disappointed.