How food marketing can boost tourism [The Morning Call]

Food tourism for destination marketing

We talk food and travel with Nyasha K Mutizwa.

You might have heard of gastronomic tourism or perhaps food/culinary tourism. This refers to trips made to destinations where the local food is the main motivating factor for touring. As the United Nations World Tourism noted in its 2017 report, Food Tourism has grown remarkably over the last few years to become one of the most dynamic and creative segments of tourism.

So its one thing to recognize its significance for a growing an economy, but of course it is another to understand how to market it.

So hotels and tour agencies can promote certain cuisines by organizing regular tours focusing solely on food. Perhaps tribal themed tours – for instance, Nigeria has over 300 tribes and it is considered by travel bloggers as one of the most diverse and vibrant culinary cultures in the world. 300 tribes means many types of culinary practices which can translate to maybe 300 times worth of opportunities to take advantage of.

Social media for food tourism

Of couse we can also never forget the power of the internet. Businesses can use social media influencers, particularly, food/restuarant/hotel bloggers. They usually have a massive online following, which would contribute to increasing a hotel or a restaurant’s publicity. Social media examiner published a social media marketing report in 2016, which shows that 37% of marketers considered visual marketing to be the most significant form of content, with blogging following after. Furthermore, social networking sites such as Instagram and Snapchat that primarily covers visual content can be used for visual marketing.

‘Rolex’ food festival boosts tourism

Another marketing phenomenon to consider is food festivals. From the Lagos Food Festival in Nigeria to the Cape Town Festival of Beer in South Africa these offer unlimited opportunities for all food and travel industry players. For a business – an opportunity to have a stall and advertise or sell your products. Now, tourism ministries in Africa are increasingly using festivals to invite tourists to get a unique experience of the country, its culture and food.

One such well marketed event, if you remember, was Uganda’s “Rolex Festival”. In the East African country, ‘Rolex’ does not refer to the luxury watch, it does mean time – for an egg filled Chapati sandwich.

We recently caught up with the founder of the successful festival, Enid Mirembe, who is a big advocate for food tourism. Take a look, enjoy and join us again for Travel.