Food tourism could be a path to future success
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.