Housed at the Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee, FL it was home to indoor waterfalls, a restaurant upon a ship, and a small shop that carried Nesquik Chocolate Milk. Basically, everything you could ever need.
Things kicked off Monday afternoon with a board of directors meeting for the Global Food Tourism Association. In it, we said goodbye to departing board members and welcomed new ones to the group. Having worked with GFTA President, Shane Kost, on messaging — he unveiled the new unique value proposition we created for the association. Something that summed up what the association does, and why someone wants to be a part of it.
When we tried to capture everything the association looks to do, we narrowed it down to once sentence. “A community of tourism operators to answer every question you have.” This was later unveiled to members of the association attending the GFTA Microconference.
As we got into the conference itself, it was exciting to see some of our group featured on the big screen in front of an audience of 1,500+. This included Catalina Food Tours, Taste Carolina, Sac Town Bites, Tru Bahamian Food Tours, Taste of Thomasville, and more. Discussions around OTAs, tour booking statistics, and insight from top tour operators helped to shape new ways of thinking as we approach the 2020 season.
We saw food tours take center-stage as the discussion all tour operators should be having as they look to incorporate culinary elements into their tours. Further exemplified by the presence, and launch announcement, of Food Tour Week.
The last evening of Arival was also the GFTA Appreciation night. This private event saw 5 different tours take the stage to tell their story of how their tour has impacted their life and community. Everyone who attended had the chance to hear more about the lives we touch and the possibilities ahead of us.
Events like GFTC and Arival remind us that we’re not alone. That the struggles, effort, and successes we have our shared by more than just ourselves. Thank you to every one who was able to attend, say hello, and share a meal together.