“Food tourism is the pursuit of unique and memorable eating and drinking experiences that reflects the local cuisine, heritage, or culture of a place.”
- The Culinary Tourism Alliance
In 2019 LGV is partnering with the Culinary Tourism Alliance, one of the world's leading experts in food tourism development, to explore how we can combine our regional strengths in agriculture with travel and hospitality to drive new market opportunities in our region.
why food matters for rural development
Getting visitors to stay longer in our communities as well as attracting high-return and strategic market segments is important for future economic growth and sustainability. In LGV’s 2017 visitor survey, two of the top five areas visitors cited for improvement, dealt with a lack of local and farm-to-table restaurant options and events celebrating local food and culture. Based on these findings as well as the region’s strong agricultural industry, LGV’s strategic priorities in 2019 will focus on addressing the need for more farm-to-table and locally inspired food options.
Leveraging the branding process and digital investments made in 2018, LGV will use a similar approach for defining and raising visibility for the unique food and agricultural assets in the Letchworth gateway region in 2019. Program activities will focus on four key areas, laying the groundwork for growing food tourism in the Letchworth gateway region in 2019 and beyond. These activities include the following:
Increasing awareness and visibility for existing farm-to-table ventures and local food and beverage producers
Building the capacity of local restaurants to integrate and market local products in their businesses
Promoting and strengthening linkages between local farmers, restaurants, and education and training providers
Conducting a food tourism assessment to inform future strategic directions and opportunities for new food and beverage ventures in the Letchworth gateway region.