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Published on : Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Brand USA, the destination-marketing organization for the nation, is enticing international travelers to visit the United States through a culinary tourism strategy that includes the newly launched online content hub, guidebook, broadcast sponsorships, and partnerships with the U.S. Department of State and the James Beard Foundation. Based on Brand USA’s proprietary research across 12 key international markets, culinary has risen to one of the top five motivations that travelers use to select an international destination.
In fact, culinary is a top motivator in seven of the 12 markets Brand USA conducted proprietary research in 2014, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, and Mexico. (Source: Brand USA 2014 proprietary market profiles research). In order to build off the rise of culinary tourism, in July Brand USA in partnership with the Food Network (International) and Travel Channel (International) will broadcast a series of vignettes featuring notable American chefs showcasing regional cuisines from their hometowns and favorite U.S. destinations.
The episodes, which show how each cuisine mirrors its region, will air in 98 countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa during July 2015. Additionally, the Travel Channel will broadcast a series of U.S. road-trip food adventures with British broadcast personalities and food experts Jeni Barnett and Olly Smith. The program is an expansion of Brand USA’s broadcast in 2014 of Jeni and Ollie’s “West Coast Wine Adventures” series.
Other components of Brand USA’s culinary strategy include the May 2015 launch of Brand USA’s first-ever culinary content hub, “Flavours of the USA,” which is available from Brand USA’s global consumer website, DiscoverAmerica.com and includes gastronomic features from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the five U.S. territories. The site also offers culinary-inspired American travel itineraries, listings of food festivals and events, descriptions of wine and beer trails, and regional recipes by top chefs. The James Beard Foundation, through its partnership with Brand USA, has supplied much of the online content. Brand USA also worked with the U.S. Department of State on its Diplomatic Culinary Partnership, which is a collaboration with the James Beard Foundation that champions American chefs abroad, promotes American food products, and fosters an interest in American culinary culture and history through international programs and initiatives, to produce the “Flavours of the USA” culinary guidebook.
The guide, published in multiple languages, features recipes and content by a variety of prominent U.S. chefs – all affiliated with the James Beard Foundation – that showcase U.S. regional cuisines. Brand USA will distribute 115,000 of the guides at upcoming Independence Day celebrations at U.S. embassies and consulates in China, India, Japan, France, and Germany, and during the year at Brand USA pavilions and in key markets around the globe. Brand USA will also distribute the “Flavours of the USA” guidebook and promote culinary tourism in the USA during the United States’ participation in Expo Milano 2015, the Universal Exhibition (often referred to as the “World’s Fair”) in Milan, Italy from May 1 to Oct. 31, 2015. About 20 million visitors are expected to attend Expo Milano 2015 where they will have opportunities to sample the food of 140 countries.