“Nibbles and Sips” Culinary Tourism: Local Product Sampling Through Hotel Partnerships
Culinary tourism is growing facet of meeting planning – like team building events and recreational activities, experiencing local fare is a way to provide attendees a unique, local experience in the destination they are visiting. Most likely, it is possible to enhance your event at minimal cost existing by leveraging vendor relationships your hotel already has in place.
Sunriver Resort, located near Bend, Oregon, provides this experience to group guests through their partnerships with local microbrewers, distilleries, wineries, chocolatiers, farms and more! Among the partnerships in place are relationships with Deschutes Brewery, Bendistillery, Maragas Winery, Tumalo Cheese Farms, and Goody’s Chocolates. Sunriver Resort also partners with local outfitters such as Wanderlust Tours, who offer beer tours and outdoor recreation, as well as The Well Traveled Fork, who offer local farm tours and cooking classes. Not only do guests learn a little something about the area with these opportunities, but they also get to try something new they may have never experienced anywhere else.
Other than the cost of the food or beverage, which may have been an event requirement anyway, the company generally charges little to nothing for their time, as they enjoy introducing new people to their products.
So the next time you are looking to mix things up in a new destination, work with your Sales or Convention Manager to brainstorm on local options for “nibbles and sips” to enhance one of your receptions or meal functions.