by Roberta Milano
Work Group Leader for Food and Wine Tourism at BTO11 | Right here, right now

Food and wine tourism is booming all over the world. The demand for Food & Wine experiences is becoming an increasingly important reason to travel.

According to “UNWTO – 2nd Global Report on Gastronomy Tourism”, 70% of the respondents (between the public and private sectors in the world) indicated food and wine tourism as an important segment of development, but only 10% believe that it is sufficiently promoted. That’s why BTO11 | Right here, right now decided to dedicate an entire topic to it, focusing naturally on the “smart” theme that characterises the entire event.

Culinary tourism is changing at an incredible rate, and becoming increasingly complex: from online restaurant reservations and food and wine experiences to the growth of food delivery, from blockchain in agrifood to “food trucks“.

How we use food on holiday is also developing, with innovations in hotels, restaurants, producers and destinations. Business models are evolving, involving all operators throughout the chain.

Thanks to artificial intelligence, Google is experimenting with a new way of booking using the voice assistant (Google Duplex): it is currently being tested in some areas of the United States and will soon arrive in Europe.

The latest trend coming from the USA are Ghost Restaurants, where the order and preparation of real courses is replaced by a virtual room, without tables, designed for customers ordering exclusively online (or by phone) and who want to receive and consume everything at home.

This means that a traditional hotel restaurant can also be opened to a much wider public by reinventing its offer.

“Smart” is a broad concept, that goes beyond just digital and the 4IR (Fourth Industrial Revolution). It also means rethinking processes thanks to neuroscience, and designing the food experience.

Our goal at BTO11 | Right here, right now, is not to focus on technology itself, but to investigate technology’s potential to transform supply and demand. Innovations in the field of traceability of blockchain products now make it possible to establish a firm and distinctive link with the territory.

New narrative spaces are being opened up which, thanks to digital technology, highlight the interplay between food, traditions and identity: can we control these new promotion opportunities?

If tourism is an industry that cannot be relocated, wine and food, on the other hand, “travels” and is an excellent ambassador of the places from which it originates.

To exploit the opportunities of food and wine tourism, we need new skills, new metrics and statistics, greater integration between the two sectors and a sustainable vision, as well as specific strategies.

Through events, the presence of the main world players, case histories and international best practices, BTO11 will provide stimuli, knowledge and training on such a topical issue for tourism.

Filter the FOOD and WINE TOURISM slots from the scientific program of BTO11 | Right here, right now
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