There are many reasons why you may choose to undertake a culinary tourism strategy development process, from increasing visitation to providing more meaningful and multisensory experiences to visitors.
Do not proceed with the development of a strategy until those who will lead the process have a shared understanding of what they expect to get out of it. A good place to start is with setting clear goals. Goals set expectations around the future state that is to be achieved. Because they are broader in scope, they tend to be difficult to measure. For example, you may have identified overarching goals for your strategy development project such as the establishment of a foundation for growing culinary tourism or the mobilization of industry around a shared vision for culinary tourism.
A trick for goal setting is to ask yourself, what do I want to be celebrating with others at the end of the strategy development process?
What are you trying to achieve through the development of a culinary tourism strategy?
Objectives are clear statements that should inform your strategy development work. When agreed upon at the onset, these will greatly assist you in scoping the entire process. Put simply, objectives will guide actions that will collectively achieve your goals. The language of S.M.A.R.T. objectives is used across several industries because of how simple it is to understand and use as criteria for both setting and assessing objectives.
While there is no universally accepted breakdown of the letters that make up the term, the following has been generally accepted and adapted over time:
Note, objectives can be process-oriented, and unique to the activities that will be taking place over the course of your strategy development process, or they can be outcome-based and focussed on the result that will be achieved as an effect of implementing your strategy research and development activities, or a mix of both. Additionally, because your objectives should be “measurable” it is important to think of indicators that will allow you to measure their success.
A trick for coming up with S.M.A.R.T. objectives is to add “To” before the action in each objective statement.
Examples of objectives include the following:
- To inventory culinary tourism stakeholders across the region
- To identify opportunities for new product development
- To garner partner interest in and willingness to support
What statements are you going to use to guide your work, keep you on track, and reflect upon at the end of your strategy development process?
You have decided to pursue the development of a culinary tourism strategy for specific reasons, and you have expectations that the process will yield specific outcomes. This means it is both fair and important to identify anticipated outcomes for your strategy development process.
Outcomes are clear statements of the changes you expect to take place over the course of your strategy development process and as a result of your strategy development efforts. They are what you are working towards in the immediate term, and as they are produced, you will gain confidence that you are heading in the right direction.
A trick to identifying outcomes is to think of the change you want to see take place through the implementation of your strategy.
Examples of outcomes statements include the following:
- Increased understanding of the culinary tourism landscape
- Stronger network of culinary tourism stakeholders
- Increased clarity around how to integrate food & drink into the overall tourism experience
Your outcomes may be something you report back on to key stakeholders, including partners and funders. However, there is no guarantee that anticipated outcomes will be produced; so you need to practice honest reflection throughout your strategy development process and make decisions and adjustments on the direction of your strategy and the identified outcomes.
What changes are going to take place as a result of developing your culinary tourism strategy?