Demand trends in food tourism point at a common focus on experientiality, authenticity and novelty. Experiential travel focuses on the active involvement of visitors – feelings, sensations, stories and connections fit to bring to life heritage, culture, history, enogastronomy…:in other words: the unique and authentic character of places. Visitors wish to “feel and live” the places they visit, be involved in people’s stories, actively participate in cultural and community life. They are the protagonists at the centre of a well-designed plot from the very start of the Customer Journey.

But how does the transformation from GENIUS LOCI (spirit of a place) to U.S.P. (Unique Selling Proposition) work in food tourism? How is it possible to incorporate authenticity into food tourism products of all types (classes, tastings, tours, etc.)? Which elements can be used to ensure that the resulting product truly reflects a “sense of place”, is respectful of the local food culture, and meets the tourist’s quest for novelty and innovation?

These are the issues that will be dealt with in this presentation, which will provide check lists, case histories, and examples of innovative food tourism products.