Foodies: How to Unlock the Food Tourism Potential of Your Hostel or Hotel

Iva SoldoTourism Marketing
10 min read

Do you have beautiful accommodation with a sea view? Excellent. Clean and tidy rooms? Amazing. Friendly staff and impeccable service? Very commendable. However, what about food?

Now, you may ask yourself – what about food?

In recent years, there has been a change in social values, and because of that modern travelers are no longer traveling only to go sightseeing or lounging by sea, but are interested in rather authentic experiences, one of which is undoubtedly food. 

The World Food Travel Association claims that as many as 93% of travelers state food and drink as primary motivators for their journey! Today, products such as wine and food are associated with relaxation and leisure time and are no longer just basic needs. Just like visiting a museum or going to the theater, visiting a restaurant is indeed a cultural event.

Thirst for experience

The notion of gastronomy and people who enjoy food is as old as human civilization. 

However, with the modern way of living, that term has evolved, so today we have foodies – gourmets of the modern age who enjoy eating food as a sort of hobby that they share with the world through social networks. Foodies are interested in new trends: new restaurants, visiting wineries, nutrition, everything new when it comes to food… 

They are not just attracted to elitism but want to experience something new and share this experience with their followers. Above all else, the emphasis is on pleasure, which is precisely how the term food porn came into use.

Caught up in social media

Social networks have changed the way we eat and how we choose where to eat. Visits to fancy restaurants almost always start by taking photographs of the food on the plate and sharing that culinary pleasure with friends and acquaintances through social networks.

Instagramming full plates of beautifully arranged food has become such a pain in the neck that some restaurants have even banned taking photographs so guests can devote themselves entirely to what they came to do – eat.

Food aesthetic is as important as its taste, but what is also important is the way everything else looks in a restaurant.

Another critical asset when choosing a place to eat is whether your interior is “instagrammable” or, in other words, whether it is attractive and exciting and if it looks good in photographs.

You want the guests to be comfortable, to enjoy your food, and to want to share their experience with their friends, who will, in turn, come and enjoy themselves and spread the word. 

Personal recommendation is still the best type of marketing, but to keep your customers coming back, in addition to the great aesthetic, you must offer excellent quality food. Because people will eventually get tired of a certain style, but one thing they will never get tired of is high-quality meals!

The recipe for success

Investing in attractive decor and menu will result in guests who are eager for new experiences and are willing to pay for it. 

It will also result in the interest of the media and the “holy grail” of today’s marketing – influencers, with whom you can establish collaborations and promote your restaurant to a broader audience. 

But social networks are not reserved for influencers only. 

You can also use them to promote both your accommodation and the food you offer. 

Food photographs are one of the most popular posts on Instagram. The hashtag “food” has more than 360 million photos, while “foodporn” has 211 million. 

With quality and authentic photos of visually appealing food, you will surely attract foodies traveling in constant pursuit of gastronomic delights.

Make sure your website has an online menu and reservations to help potential guests reach you as quickly as possible.

Start a blog and write about the local foods you offer or the meals you are known for – the more information you provide, the easier it will be to attract customers.

Highlight positive reviews and interact with anyone who contacts you – as many as 71% of users who have had a positive social service experience will recommend the brand to others.

Take advantage of all the things available, and success will come.

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Iva Soldo is Rentlio’s CMO. During the day she loves tackling different marketing challenges while at night she’s all about proper techno. Traveled 40+ countries and growing. Coffee lover. Digital Expert. Detail-oriented. Dedicated runner, #foodie, and proud INTJ!