The World Food Travel Association (WFTA) announced today that the application process for the 2017 FoodTrekking Awards for excellence in food and beverage tourism is now open. The first year the awards were held was 2016. For a list of past winners, visit http://foodtrekkingawards.org/winners.
The World Food Travel Association (WFTA) is a non-profit and non-governmental organization (NGO) and is recognized as the world’s leading authority on food tourism. Its mission is to drive economic development for the food, drink, travel and hospitality trade. The Association was founded in 2003 by its Executive Director Erik Wolf and today brings innovative food tourism solutions and thought leadership to 48,000+ industry professionals in 139 countries.
Rather than another Top 10 or best restaurants list, the FoodTrekking Awards are unique in that they fill a void of recognition of experience excellence in 13 categories within the food and beverage tourism industry. Food and beverage is the fastest-growing sector of travel, which itself is one of the world’s largest and most economically significant industries.
2017 CATEGORIES & APPLICATION PROCESS
The number of categories being recognized has grown from only 5 in 2016 to 13 categories in 2017, as follows:
- Best Foodie Destination Experience
- Best Food/Beverage Tour Operations (Land)
- Best Food/Beverage Tour Operations (Water)
- Best Beer Experience
- Best Foodservice Experience for Visitors
- Best Lodging Experience
- Best Food/Beverage/Travel Media Professional
- Best Wine Experience
- Best Food/Beverage/Travel Blogger
- Best Farms & Farmers’ Market Experience
- Best Retail & Grocery Experience
- Best Cooking/Beverage Class/School
- Best Food & Beverage Event Experience
Businesses and organizations interested in applying can do so on the Awards website at www.FoodTrekkingAwards.org. Applications are being accepted between January 1 and February 28, 2017, when the application process will close.
2017 JUDGES & SELECTION PROCESS
Ten experts in their specific fields will serve as judges for the 2017 Awards, as follows:
- Panna Balazsy (Hungary), Owner, Globalist Kitchen
- Andre Morgenthal (South Africa), former Communications Manager, Wines of South Africa
- Roberta Garibaldi (Italy), food and wine tourism consultant and coordinator of East Lombardy – European Region of Gastronomy 2017
- Livio Colapinto (Italy), Owner, Zest of Italy
- Katarzyna Janiszewska (Poland), Founder, pl
- Armando Cristofori (Australia), member, La Chaîne de Rôtisseurs
- Udi Goldschmidt (Israel), culinary tourism consultant to Israel’s tourism industry
- Brian F Lorge (USA), CCTP, HAAC (USA), Chairman, Certified Ambassador World Food Travel Association; Exec. Dir., American Culinary Federation (MCCA); Fellow, American Academy of Chefs & Les Amis d’Escoffier; Industry Consultant
- Lawrence Acosta (USA), Owner, Grub Crawl
- Sanjeev Shenoy (India), Mystery Shopper, HS Brands International and Owner, Trip on Food
Each judge will review two different applicants according to established criteria in a confidential review process. In the event of a tie, a third judge will review each of the tied applications. A grand prize and a runner-up are selected for each category. A small application fee charged to each applicant helps to offset the cost of managing the awards.
2017 AWARDS ANNOUNCEMENT & CEREMONY
The winners of the 2017 FoodTrekking Awards will be recognized at a special ceremony at the conclusion of FoodTrekking World, the world’s largest food and beverage tourism convention for the trade, on Tuesday, April 4, 2017, in Portland, Oregon, USA. Award applicants are encouraged to attend FoodTrekking World, but are not required to do so to enter or win.