Food tourism could be a path to fu­ture suc­cess

Central and North Burnett Times - - VOICE OF THE BURNETT - Emily Smith

TOURISM is the hot topic in the North Bur­nett right now.

But we might be swamped for choice when it comes to de­cid­ing which tourist-grab­bing ideas to pur­sue.

From up­ping our so­cial me­dia pres­ence, to wel­com­ing our back­pack­ers, cre­at­ing more lo­cal attractions and be­com­ing a cen­tre for sport and recre­ation, we have plenty of op­tions here in the North Bur­nett.

But an idea that I think would have almost im­me­di­ate re­sults is food tourism.

Un­like many other ideas, it won’t in­volve too much ef­fort, and in my opin­ion that can only be a good thing.

If peo­ple want to know the story be­hind their food, all we have to do is tell them.

That can be through signs in restau­rants, menu changes and farm-gate tours.

A Bund­aberg restau­ran­teur sug­gested hav­ing a cake made from lo­cal cit­rus for sale in Gayn­dah.

Not only would that give tourists a good ex­cuse to splurge on cake, but lo­cals would get more en­gaged with what other peo­ple are up to in their com­mu­nity.

And with Aus­tralia’s agri­cul­tural in­dus­try tipped to grow by 70% to keep up with ex­port de­mand, show­cas­ing what we’ve got to tourists might be a foot in the door to other forms of eco­nomic pros­per­ity as well.

I went to a talk about food tourism last week, and it was men­tioned that food ex­pe­ri­ences are some of the most mem­o­rable peo­ple have.

This is be­cause food trig­gers an emo­tive re­sponse in our brains, and cou­pling this with a unique ex­pe­ri­ence makes food we eat on hol­i­day par­tic­u­larly mem­o­rable.

When peo­ple come to Monto, they are prob­a­bly go­ing to re­mem­ber the ex­cel­lent pizza they had at the Big 4 Car­a­van Park more than the con­tours of Ca­nia Gorge it­self.

I talked to a back­packer from the Czech Repub­lic in Mungungo last week, and she said she would never for­get how much bet­ter food tasted when it was picked fresh from a tree.

That was some­thing she had never ex­pe­ri­enced grow­ing up in Europe.

And while that is so hard to imag­ine, there’s a big chunk of peo­ple even from Aus­tralia who have never ex­pe­ri­enced freshly-picked fruit, or eggs laid from chooks in the back­yard or fresh cow milk.

There are a lot of big ideas for tourism in the pipe­line, but most of them will take years to get up and run­ning. So why not kick things off by show­ing off some­thing we’ve got so much of and ev­ery­one loves – re­ally good food?

It’s a sim­ple idea, but they say those are usu­ally the best.

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