Sydney-based food and tourism marketer Holly Galbraith has been appointed as Australia’s first Certified Ambassador by one of the world’s leading authorities on food and beverage tourism, the World Food Travel Association. 

Food tourism is big business in Australia. Food and wine now account for 20 per cent of expenditures, nearly one in five dollars, spent by international tourists in Australia. Since the launch of Restaurant Australia by Tourism Australia in 2013, Australia has moved to the forefront of food tourism.

“My passion for food and tourism started early, growing up on an orchard and helping to evolve the family business into an agri-tourism enterprise,” says Galbraith.

“This dedication further grew from my time living and working in the Byron region that is, in my view, one of Australia’s top food destinations.”

Ed+bK asked Holly Galbraith about her appointment and her exciting plans to launch Australia’s first culinary tourism conference in 2018.

Holly Gailbraith, what is the World Food Travel Association?

The World Food Travel Association is the leading authority on food and beverage tourism globally. It has been running since 2003, founded by Erik Wolf who is still the association Managing Director. Their key mission is to create economic opportunities where food and beverage meet travel and hospitality. It is a not for profit and was founded and is still run out of the USA.

Which are their current projects?

They run certified education and training programs in food tourism which is mainly online so accessible to everyone. What I find interesting is their research and reports on the food tourism sector. They also consult to destinations and organisations about food tourism and are advocates for food and beverage tourism. To date, The World Food Travel Association hasn’t been too active in Australia however 2018 will hopefully see that change.

What stimulated your appointment as an Australian Ambassador?

I reached out to founder Erik Wolf, he had been on my radar for some time due to my interested and work in food tourism. Through our chats and relationship, Erik thought a good next step would be to invite me to become an Ambassador for World Food Travel Association. I am the first Ambassador in Australia which is exciting.

What is involved in your role as Ambassador for the World Food Association?

My role as Ambassador is to raise the Association’s profile in Australia, as well as being a go-to person to speak with about food tourism for those working in the industry or the media. I’m passionate about ensuring food experiences are accessible to the traveller and they are not just something we talk about, but something visitors can easily experience.

Holly Galbraith, how important is food tourism in Australia?

Food tourism is an essential pillar for many destinations across Australia. We know that people will travel for food, and visitors actively seek out memorable food experiences. From an economic viewpoint, 2016 saw tourists spend more than $21 billion on food, wine and brewery experiences across Australia and those figures are predicted to grow. So, food tourism is essential for attracting visitors, getting them to part with their money and contributing to them having an amazing holiday or stay.

You have a culinary tourism conference, Destination Food, launching on May 21, 2019.  What can people expect?

Yes, I can’t tell you how excited I am to be staging Australia’s first food tourism conference, Destination Food. The one-day event will see leaders from different aspects of the food and tourism industry come together share ideas, case studies, learn and network. The aim is to learn from each other, so we can generate better ideas to grow food tourism in Australia. People can find out more at where you can register your interest, browse the program or purchase a ticket.

Thanks, Holly Gailbraith!