Guidelines for Research Award and Competition
The GTTP country Directors select a topic for research, and it changes each year. Each GTTP member country determines how it will organize its national competition, and deadlines for entries vary from country to country depending on school schedules. All questions on entering your national competition should be directed to the GTTP Director in your country.
The winning team in each country is invited to send a teacher and two students to the GTTP International Student Teacher conference. Teams meet for five days in November. The GTTP Global Partners sponsor the students and teachers. Lufthansa provides air tickets for the teams. Starwood provides hotel rooms. Participants have an opportunity to meet GTTP Global Partner Advisory Board members, visit Amadeus’ high tech center in Sofia Antipolis, go sightseeing, and meet GTTP students and teachers from around the world.
In Monaco, the way your team presents its findings is for you to decide. Your team will have as much time as it needs, but usually teams take about an hour to set up their materials (videos, power point, props, music, or whatever they are using), present their research, and answer questions from the other students and teachers. Additionally, each winning team is required to prepare a written case study about their research that can be used by students in GTTP schools. If yours is the winning case study for 2013, remember that there are regulations about what kinds of food can or cannot be brought into the European Union. You will need to research those rules to see if you can bring any food samples. In the section below, "What are Case Studies," you can read about case studies and how to prepare one.
The topic for 2013 is "Culinary/Food Tourism: Traveling for Experiences."
The topic for 2014 is "Technology and Sustainable Tourism." How does technology support sustainable tourism? What is sustainability? What does it mean in your locale, and what is the role of technology in sustainability? More details on this topic will be available in December, 2013.
Some Ideas about Culinary Tourism:
Food and tourism are both fun, and both are also serious businesses. Some estimates suggest that 40 percent of a typical tourist’s daily spending is on food.
As a topic, culinary tourism can be examined in many ways. A pragmatic way is to consider all the variations there are of “culinary tourism.”
For example, look at culinary tourism through the eyes of government, private development groups, as well as small and large businesses.
Culinary tourism can also be examined as part of a process; food must be grown, distributed, prepared. There is a long list of activities and businesses associated with this process for you to look at.
As mentioned above, government is often involved in Culinary Tourism, as it is in so many other sectors of the industry. For example, Fāilte Ireland, the country’s tourism development authority, has an important program to help Ireland become a place where visitors come for the food as well as for the other things that make Ireland an attractive destination. In Russia the national Ministry of Agriculture and the Government of St. Petersburg together sponsor an annual “International Festival of Tea and Coffee” in St. Petersburg: in 2011 the event drew 50,000 people to the city.
Private groups are also active in making their communities more interesting and attractive to visitors. To do so they often use advertising and other methods of communication to demonstrate why food lovers should visit their community.
For example, in Canada, a group of food-related businesses in the Province of Ontario have joined together to create “The Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance, the meeting place for growers, chefs and people who love fresh food.” At the county level in Ontario you can find “The Prince Edward County Taste Trail,” created by a group of 32 small food businesses who have joined together to a create a culinary destination for visitors.
But no government programs or community initiatives, regardless of how helpful they want to be, can be successful without the individuals and the big and small enterprises that participate in what has become an important component of tourism: the pleasures of food.
Here are some examples of the kinds of things people are doing that are interesting, clever, impressive, unusual, unexpected, or delicious. You may find similar examples in your communities, but we want to encourage you to find your own examples of something that is related to Culinary Tourism and is interesting, clever, impressive, unusual, unexpected, or delicious. And remember, your example should be profitable. This is essential if you want the activity to become a sustainable part of your area’s tourism attractions.
Perhaps your community is important as a food producer. In South Africa you can tour farms that grow maize or soya beans, raise cattle breeds with names like Pinzgauer and Bonmara, and you can learn about those businesses. In Ningbo, China, you enjoy the bayberry festival in Yuyao County, the persimmon festival in the Siming Mountain area, and the strawberry festival in Shangtian Town. In Hong Kong you can explore its famous “wet markets” on Kam Wa Street or Graham Street and many other locations, where live seafood, live chickens and other animals, as well as fresh vegetables, are for sale. Some travelers make a habit of finding a typical supermarket when they visit a country for the first time, as part of exploring how other people live. Others look for culinary tours specializing in the cuisine of a city, region or country.
In Brazil, in the seaside village of Paraty, visitors can find a three-day course where they will learn how to cook Brazilian dishes. In Moscow, Russia, visitors with less time to spare can attend a one-day course learning how to cook samples of Russian cuisine. In Hungary visitors can find small cooking classes held in private homes. Cooking schools are not the only way to explore a country’s foods. Festivals have become a popular shortcut to sample different versions of a dish, whether it is the Portland Jerk Festival in rural Jamaica, with 25 competing chefs, or Britain’s Sturminster Newton Cheese Festival, where you can sample and buy some two dozen cheeses and other products.
How food is grown, how food is sold, and how food is cooked --- all are interesting to many travelers. Food is also a favorite souvenir for many travelers. In Ireland a Dublin hotel with a great kitchen decided to also offer some of the things it cooks and makes so guests can take home with them: chutneys, oils, relishes, jellies, chocolates and other creations of the hotel’s kitchen.
And let us not forget cuisine and the Internet. If you go to the Google search engine and input “Kenya + Food + Tourism” you will get more than 24,000 results, ranging from where to eat, what to eat and recipes.
Another way to consider “culinary tourism” is to assess its value as a human activity. Eating is one of life’s primary pleasures. But eating is not just about satisfying hunger, it is also about how we relate to other people.
A professor, Leon Kass, drew a comparison between friendship and eating. “So, too with friendship, whose beginning are made possible by dinner; the shared meal itself grounds our being together. Amiability and friendliness are required and shared around the table. But it is the community of stories in conversation that is the true communion. Fellow diners gets to know each other’s minds and hearts, even though no one is explicitly baring his soul or trafficking in personal matters. We are drawn to those whose tastes and tales we find admirable. We arrange to dine with them again on another occasion.” (From his book: The Hungry Soul: Eating and the Perfecting of Our Nature)
Imagine how culinary tourism can help build friendships, spread ideas and values, and enrich both the traveler and the host.
The Universe of Culinary Tourism is very large. Explore your community and see where and how it fits in that Universe.
What Are Case Studies?
Case studies provide information on about real people in real situations. A good case study lets you feel as if you were there, looking at the situation. For example, a case study on Jamaican heritage sites should have enough information and photos that you can understand what the questions are. Then you can figure out what the possible solutions might be if there is a problem, and you can evaluate the student's recommendations. The students who have won the GTTP Research Awards for their countries give you, the reader, an understanding of their unique situations.
The GTTP has prepared a guide to doing research and preparing a case study. To review it, click here: How to Write a Good Case Study.
Case Topics and Classroom Use
In addition to innovation in tourism, previous case writing topics have included festival tourism, responsible tourism development, historic preservation, cultural tourism, adventure tourism, community tourism, heritage tourism, sports tourism, and national parks. These are all important topics for tourism students and practitioners.
The case studies can be viewed by visiting our online archive. The complete cases take time to download because most have pictures; they include text for students and teaching notes. You can reprint the cases for classroom use, but you must credit the GTTP, the student authors, their teacher and the school when you do so.
We believe these case studies can enrich your understanding of important tourism topics and how they are viewed in different countries and cultures.