Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - 44


CULINARY TOURS

one,” Brown says. “World Barbecue, which is Korean, Mexican, traditional Texas, and Chinese—those are the four barbecues that we do—was one of the most popular. Logan Point Road, which the chefs say is Houston’s most diverse street, is another big one. You can have Mexican and Thai and Salvadorian and Vietnamese, back to back on the street. We’re doing Southern Comfort and Chinatown again, too.” Restaurants, of course, love the business and exposure they get from these tours, though some smaller establishments had to get used to accommodating groups. “Because a lot of the places we’re visiting are small ethnic restaurants, they don’t usually deal with the CVB,” says Brown. “So some of them were a little hesitant at first. They didn’t know why we wanted to bring a group there. But once they figured it out, they love it.” TALKING IT UP Operators promote the tours through local CVBs and tourism groups, as well as web-

sites, social media, and some traditional advertising. But word of mouth seems to be the strongest tool, as guests pass along their experiences. “As members of the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau, we get contacted quite a bit from conventions, conferences, meetings, and different types of travel groups like motorcoaches coming to Chicago,” says Schwartz. “Typically, they book private tours.” “Bus groups are really word of mouth,” says Nemetz. “We are a member of Visit Milwaukee, so that’s how the buses have found out about us initially. We’ve had a lot of repeat business, where buses that started with us in the first year came back in the second or third years and did different routes. Because of the demand we’re going

Watch It Grow!
Agritourism gets to the roots of food tourism
hile many cities use food tours to showcase their neighborhoods, restaurants and chefs, Hawaii’s Akina Aloha Tours takes it one step further, offering the Grown on Maui Bus Tour, an up-close look at the area’s agriculture. The day begins with a behind-the-scenes tour of the University of Hawaii Maui Campus Culinary Academy and a continental breakfast of locally sourced products. Samples of seafood, beef, cheese, and chocolate are offered throughout the tour. Other stops on the Grown on Maui tour include Haliimaile Pineapple Company and Alii Kula lavender farm. Lunch is served at the O’o farm, where a variety of different crops are grown. Lani Weigert, president of the Hawaii AgriTourism Association and CEO of Alii Kula, says the small, 13.5-acre farm gets more than 150,000 visitors a year thanks to the bus tours and the walking tours it offers. “It’s been very successful,” says Weigert. “There is a strong trend of people wanting to know where food comes from, which is creating a movement where people buy local and want to meet the farmer. It’s happening at our farm too.” The farm offers five walking tours a day for groups from two to 25 people. Golf cart tours are also available, as are tours arranged for special groups. Tastings on the tour include such items as chocolate lavender gelato and lavender scones. “People are interested in the health benefits that lavender can bring in reducing stress, congestion, insomnia, anxiety, and more,” Weigert says. “For other farms, people want to know their farmer, see how he grows the food— conventional or organic—and find out ways to use the food in their diets.” Attendees are about 65 percent tourists and 35 percent locals, and the reaction has been very positive. “People are intrigued by the varieties of lavender, the history of our lavender grower, the story of our company and what the future holds for us,” Weigert adds. “We stay top-of-mind by collaborating with community events and businesses. There is a real balance between community and commerce that helps us expand our reach with a grassroots marketing approach.”

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011

Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011
Contents
Where Art Thou
Record Numbers
Flat Pete
Save the Date
Safe Keeping
Tour du Jour
A Matter of Faith
President’s Corner
From the Hill
Transportation Reauthorization
Meet the Board
Marketplace Wrap Up
Taste for Travel
To Market, to Market
Kentucky
Tennessee
Virginia
West Virginia
Alaska
California
Hawaii
Nevada
Oregon
Washington
Dining
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - Cover2
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - 1
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - 2
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - 3
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - 4
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - Contents
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - 6
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - 7
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - 8
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - 9
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - 10
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - Where Art Thou
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - 12
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - 13
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - Record Numbers
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - 15
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - Flat Pete
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - 17
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - Save the Date
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - 19
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - Safe Keeping
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - 21
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - Tour du Jour
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - 23
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - A Matter of Faith
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - 25
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - President’s Corner
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - From the Hill
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - Transportation Reauthorization
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - 29
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - Meet the Board
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - 31
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - 32
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - 33
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - Marketplace Wrap Up
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - 35
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - 36
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - 37
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - 38
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - 39
Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - Taste for Travel
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Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - To Market, to Market
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Destinations Magazine - March/April 2011 - Dining
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