The World Food Travel Association (WFTA), the world’s leading authority on food and beverage tourism, announced today that the 2017 FoodTrekking Awards for excellence in food and beverage tourism are now open. 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, SlowLife.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 reviews 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.