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GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES FOOD TOURISM


Tapping into the market for specialist food and drink holidays is not necessarily simple – food is a huge part of every holiday and each destination can claim its own specialities and cuisine. The World Food Travel Association (WFTA) defines this type of tourism as being the “pursuit and enjoyment of unique and memorable food and drink experiences, both far and near”.(11)


WFTA has teamed up with World Travel Market this year to hold sessions on the subject during the trade show.


Erik Wolf, WFTA’s executive director, says: “There is a lot that businesses and destinations everywhere can do to leverage food and drink as tools for economic development. Food and drink should be the foundation of all tourism development.”


WFTA is currently carrying out a major research project, 2016 Food and Drink Travel Benchmark Study.(12)


This report,


which is due to be published in January 2016, will assess the sector’s economic impact and explore how “foodies” make their travel decisions.


TAKEAWAY: “THE CARIBBEAN HAS SEEN SOME SUCCESS IN PROMOTING HOTEL- BASED FOOD TOURISM BUT THERE IS LOTS OF UNTAPPED POTENTIAL FOR AGRO-TOURISM, WHERE TOURISTS GO INTO RURAL COMMUNITIES TO SEE AGRICULTURE FIRST- HAND,” - ENA HARVEY, INTER- AMERICAN INSTITUTE FOR OPERATION ON AGRICULTURE


81%


number of foodie tourists who identify with the label “gourmet” WFTA


SHARING ECONOMY


The growth of this sector has not been without its controversy with a host of legal problems facing both Airbnb (home-sharing) and Uber (private taxis), as well as some of their competitors, in cities across the world – not to mention the howls of protest from traditional accommodation providers and taxi firms.


Earlier this year, it was estimated that Airbnb books 37 million room nights per year, which could rise to 129 million per annum by the end of 2016, surpassing all the major hotel chains.(18)


It’s a similar growth story for Uber, which already operates in hundreds of cities in more than 60 countries and has announced plans to expand to more than 100 new cities in China within one year. (19)


opportunities and commerce, and at the same time they expect on-demand service”. (20)


“While increasingly mainstream, the very different mindset behind collaborative consumption is worth emphasising,” adds the research firm. (21)


Airbnb penetration in the Caribbean is already considerable, with the Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Cancun and Cuba already having more than 1,000 listed properties each. (22)


Airbnb in numbers:


1,500,000 listings


The demand for these services is being driven by the consumer desire for “more connections both through collaborative


34,000 locations


40


million total guests


190 countries 8 LGBT TRAVEL


New research shows the annual spending power of the global lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender market is around $3.7 trillion (13)


. Many


destinations want to tap into a market estimated to include 450 million people worldwide. (14)


TTG has been leading the way in this sector with the creation of the TTG LGBT Travel Network. (15)


A UK travel industry survey by LGBT specialist marketing agency Out Now found that 62% of agents, operators and accommodation providers have allocated resources to directly target the LGBT market. (16)


Most of this


spending has only taken place since 2012, with 58% of all those that have targeted LGBT travel having started doing so in the last three years. (17)


Out Now CEO Ian Johnson says: “There is still a lot of work to do in making sure operators better understand what to do – and what to avoid – when targeting this market.”


Puerto Rico, the USVIs and the French Caribbean have traditionally been the most gay-friendly, but the International Gay & Lesbian Tourism Association now has members in 20 Caribbean destinations. Curacao is a leader, with 16 IGLTA members, while Saba has legalised same-sex marriage.


TAKEAWAY: “COMMUNICATE VISIBLE AWARENESS AND GENUINE COMFORT IN WELCOMING LGBT GUESTS, WITHOUT SEEMING SUPERFICIAL OR OPPORTUNISTIC,” – IAN JOHNSON.


LGBT ANNUAL SPENDING POWER (BY COUNTRY)


US


Germany UK


France Italy


Spain


$900 billion $201 billion $150 billion $148 billion $112 billion $73 billion


Source: LGBT Capital


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