As the Centre For Food Tourism Excellence, the Culinary Tourism Alliance is a leading authority on culinary tourism.

Throughout our workshops and consulting services we have worked with businesses, associations, destinations, regions, and countries on culinary tourism development and economic growth, helping them better leverage the power of food tourism.

With our past clients, listed below, we have worked on an extensive range of solutions, including the development of strategies and products. For more details on each of our projects, click the logos below.



Project: Culinary Tourism Strategy

The County of Haliburton and the Haliburton Highlands region had a well-established selection of cultural and outdoor attractions for visitors and locals alike. It was identified that culinary tourism would afford the region an opportunity to enhance these cultural and natural assets, given that industry research has shown that there are significant similarities between cultural and culinary tourists.

The County of Haliburton Culinary Tourism Strategy was developed to position the region as a culinary tourism destination, leveraging its truly unique food products such as forest honey, wild edibles, and other foraged products, coupled with the region’s breathtaking outdoor experiences and natural backdrops.

The execution of this strategy is still in progress.  



Project: Culinary Tourism Strategy

With a rich dairy and cheese producing heritage and a significant agricultural output, Oxford County was well-positioned to develop a compelling food story and offer authentic “tastes of place” that would be attractive to the food tourist. There was already considerable support and momentum stemming from both Tourism Oxford and an engaged group of stakeholders, which the county could leverage to enhance their existing product development and drive new product development.

The Oxford County Culinary Tourism Strategy identified several opportunities to improve or enhance tourism products and experiences, including recommendations for enhancing the existing Oxford County Cheese Trail into a market-ready tourism product.



Project: Food Tourism Strategy

The County of Wellington Taste Real Food Tourism Strategy was developed to position the region as a food tourism destination. The region was already well-positioned due to its existing, well-established Taste Real initiative, and its existing agricultural, food, and beverage assets in the region. These assets included authentic on-farm sourcing, new and emerging craft breweries, and popular festivals and events.

The strategy was designed to support, enhance, and evolve the Taste Real brand and its existing products to become significant tourism drivers for the region. This featured the creation of Taste Real In Real Life (IRL), a new tourism-focused product that showcases the authentic stories and market-ready culinary experiences available in Wellington County, and in turn promote these to a wider audience through a dedicated digital marketing campaign.

The execution of this strategy is still in progress.



Project: Craft Beer Trail Experience

The Craft Beer Trail Experience Strategy was developed to position the regions covered by Explorers’ Edge and Ontario’s Highlands Tourism Organization as a destination for craft beer. The regions’ existing tourism draws of nature and wilderness have already brought in a steady stream of visitors, so the focus was on attracting new visitor markets through the development and promotion of a craft beer tourism product and experience.

The strategy provided context for the product development, recommendations for the trail brand, name, and website content, as well as suggestions for how Explorers’ Edge and Ontario’s Highlands Tourism Organization could integrate the craft beer experience with their existing regional product offerings.

The execution of this strategy is still in progress.



Project: Food Tourism Workshops and Best Practice Mission

The Culinary Tourism Alliance worked with Failte Ireland, Ireland’s National Tourism Development Agency, in several capacities to support the implementation of their National Food Tourism Strategy. In 2011, our Executive Director delivered Food Tourism 101 workshops in four Irish cities, and another three in 2013 along the Wild Atlantic Way. In 2012, we worked with them on one of the strategy’s key action items – the development of a Food Champion Ambassador program. This involved working with Failte Ireland to craft a Best Practice Mission tour from Ireland to Ontario for a group of fourteen food tourism stakeholders. The Mission included visits to restaurants, farms, wineries, breweries, artisan food producers, and accommodations in Toronto, Prince Edward County, and Peterborough. For more on the Mission’s outcomes, please visit Failte Ireland’s website.



Project: Better Weekending

The Culinary Tourism Alliance worked on a culinary / agri-tourism project for Huxley Quayle von Bismark on behalf of RTO 4, developing signature food experiences in the region, creating a marketing and promotions strategy, identifying market ready businesses and experiences and executing a regional SWOTT analysis with recommendations for further development. In addition to working directly with the Regional Tourism Organization, the CTA also engaged DMOs and stakeholders across the region; facilitating workshops and performing in market research.



Project: Local Food & Beverage Program Grant Application & Program Implementation

The Culinary Tourism Alliance supported the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) by writing a grant application to the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs for their Ontario Market Investment Fund to develop and implement a Local Food & Beverage Program within the MTCC. Upon successful achievement of funding, the CTA supported the MTCC in the hiring of a Local Food Coordinator and assisted in fund reporting.



Project: Culinary Tourism Strategy

The Culinary Tourism Strategy was developed to support the Ontario Craft Cider Association in educating the Ontario cider industry members and marketing to consumers. The Ontario cider industry had already made significant progress, and would shortly be in a position to leverage its role in the local food and culinary tourism movements.

This strategy provided suggestions for increasing brand awareness and establishing a significant presence both within the industry and with consumers, supporting the growth of individual cideries, and creating market ready craft cider products and programs, such as Ontario Craft Cider Week, which celebrated its third year in 2016.



Project: Culinary Tourism Strategy & Action Plan

The Culinary Tourism Alliance was retained to develop a region-wide inventory (over 800 business listings), assess market readiness, provide comprehensive research on international best practices, evaluate the culinary tourism value chain in the region, perform a category and regional SWOTT analysis and create regional culinary / agri-tourism strategies, and product development. The final Culinary Tourism Strategy & Action Plan for the Tourism Partnership of Niagara included all elements listed above as well as action plans for each of the product/experience development recommendations.



Project: Culinary Tourism Theme Development Project

The Culinary Tourism Theme Development Project for RTO 5 (Toronto) was designed to tangibly demonstrate the unique nature of the region’s culinary tourism experiences through theme-driven storytelling. Extensive research and data collection yielded theme-driven suggestions for RTO 5 to use for press tours, new app development, story pitches, working with tour operators, and consumer marketing programs. Nine different content themes were identified, with ten additional content themes identified for future consideration.



Project: Culinary Tourism Experience Development Report

The purpose of the Culinary Tourism Experience Development Report was to deliver action plans for culinary tourism experiences within Central Counties. After extensive in-market research, an assessment of Central Counties’ culinary tourism assets, and an analysis of culinary trends, three such action plans were delivered: a Chopstick Crawl in York Region, Signature Experiences in Hills of Headwaters, and a Rotating Event Series in Hills of Headwaters.

Central Counties launched the “Chopstick Walk” in 2015. The execution of other action plans are still in progress.



Project: Culinary Tourism SWOT Analysis & Inventory Assessment

This project was undertaken in order to gain a better understanding of the culinary tourism stakeholders in the region and provide initial strategic recommendations for culinary tourism business development in the region.

The assessment included a comprehensive analysis of the region and its businesses within the food tourism value chain, identifying those that were market-ready and suggesting next steps for the development of culinary tourism experiences in the region.



Project: Agri-Culinary Tourism Strategy

The Durham Region Agri-Culinary Tourism Strategy was developed to position the region as an agri- and culinary tourism destination. The strategy was developed through inventory collection, market readiness assessment, stakeholder discussions, a review of best practice initiatives, and trend research.

The strategy featured recommendations for industry education and engagement, as well as product and experience development, including the creation of a harvest dinner series, enhancing the food truck culture, and leveraging sport tourism resulting from the 2015 Pan Am and Para Pan Am Games.



Project: Agritourism Action Plan

The Agritourism Action Plan was undertaken with the dual purpose of supporting Halton Region’s agricultural sector and attracting more visitors to Halton through agri- and food tourism development. The intention of the Agritourism Action Plan was to provide direction for Halton Region’s priorities in agritourism development and service delivery.

The action plan was developed by undertaking stakeholder interviews, a market ready assessment of local businesses, and a review of best practice initiatives. The plan recommends tactics to attract more visitors to the region by working with partners and stakeholders to enhance existing offerings, develop new products, programs, and experiences, and to contribute to the long-term sustainability of the region’s agricultural sector.



Project: Roots, Rants and Roars Festival

In 2014 the Culinary Tourism Alliance was brought in to oversee the expansion of the Roots, Rants and Roars Festival, with the goal of meeting the funding guidelines and objectives of the festival. Working with Tourism Elliston volunteers and the event organizer, the CTA assisted in developing additional programming to take place over the weekend, in creating weekend experience packages, developed a sponsorship program, and in improving their website and communications program (including media relations and social media outreach) and volunteer program. The event has since gone on to meet its funding objectives and has grown into one of the country’s most successful food, beverage and cultural events.



Project: Forum on Food, Farming and Tourism

In partnership with Tourism Northern Ontario, the Culinary Tourism Alliance developed a Forum on Food, Farming and Tourism. The full-day program took place in Thunder Bay, Ontario, with over 120 food tourism stakeholders in attendance. Our Executive Director facilitated the full-day program and our Director of Food Tourism Development facilitated the Farmer-to-Chef Networking session.



Project: Windsor Region Culinary Tourism Strategy

The Windsor Region Culinary Tourism Strategy developed for Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island (TWEPI) identified the region’s culinary and beverage assets and made recommendations for tourism products and experiences to highlight these assets and position the region as a culinary tourism destination.

Among its extensive research, the strategy recognized the region’s strength as a beverage destination and leveraging that to build an authentic narrative and reputation for beverage production. The resulting product recommendations included a beverage trail and regional passport program.

The Barrels Bottles and Brews beverage trail, which features a beverage passport, launched during Tourism Week in June 2016. The execution of other components of the strategy are still in progress.



Project: Food Tourism Event Strategic Planning

In February of 2013, our Executive Director hosted a customized Culinary Event Strategic Planning Session for the St. Lawrence Park Commission to assist them in developing a food tourism event at Upper Canada Village. The Park Commission went on to launch the highly successful Food Lovers’ Field Days.



Project: Ongoing Food Tourism Education and Workshops

Since 2013, the Culinary Tourism Alliance has worked with the Iowa Economic Development Authority, Western Iowa Tourism, and the Central Iowa Tourism Region to deliver a series of Food Tourism 101 workshops across the state, as well as present at their Iowa Tourism Conference. They continue to work with stakeholders to develop market readiness and expand their taste of place offerings.