• Food Helsinki Hel Yeah

Visit Helsinki successful in the 2016 FoodTrekking Awards

The World Food Travel Association (WFTA), the world’s leading authority on food and beverage tourism, announced today the winners of its 2016 FoodTrekking Awards for excellence in food and beverage tourism. Visit Helsinki achieved second position in the category “Best Destination Experience” with the Food Helsinki? Hel Yeah! food brochure. This is the first year of the Awards, and fills a void of recognition in the food and beverage tourism industry. Food and beverage is the fastest-growing sector of travel, which itself is one of the world’s largest and most economically significant industries.


Winners are divided this year into five categories that celebrate the excellence of the visitor experience in foodservice, tour operations, wine, beer and overall destination.

Best Foodservice Experience
Grand Prize: Restaurant Aanaar at the Hotel Kultahovi, Inari, Finland
Runner Up: La Cuina del Vent, Catalonia, Spain
Best Tour Operations
Grand Prize: Turkish Flavours, Istanbul, Turkey
Runner Up: Odyssey New Zealand, Napier New Zealand
Runner Up: Italian Food Artisans, Santa Barbara, California, USA
Best Beer Experience
Grand Prize: BlackLab Brewhouse & Kitchen, Barcelona, Spain
Runner Up: Brouwerij De Koninck, Antwerp, Belgium
Best Wine Experience
Grand Prize: Miguel Torres S.A., Barcelona, Spain
Runner Up:  Netofa Winery, Netofa, Israel
Best Destination Experience
Grand Prize: Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau, Kentucky, USA
Runner Up: Visit Helsinki, Finland
Runner Up:  Tourism Nova Scotia, Canada


Excellence was assessed by a panel of five expert judges who included Benjamin Brown (cruise industry expert, Los Angeles, CA, USA); Gabriela Ibarra (destination marketing expert (Mexico); Steven Shomler (food truck, author and culinary journalism expert, Portland, OR, USA); Livio Colapinto (tour operations expert); and Stephan Berrouet Durand (foodservice and food event expert, New York City and Haiti). For each submission, the judges sought evidence of excellence in various criteria, including whether the experience represented something “unique and memorable”.


Winners were selected only from submitted applications. For each category, there was one "grand prize" winner and up to two runner-up winners of equal standing.


This year’s awards recognize excellence in the five categories named above. The 2017 Awards will expand categories to include food and beverage events; cooking schools and classes; and more. The next FoodTrekking Awards nominations will open in January 2017. Winners will be announced at the 2017 FoodTrekking World event in Portland, Oregon, USA on April 4, 2017. More at www.FoodTrekkingWorld.org.


The World Food Travel Association (WFTA) is a non-profit and non-governmental organization (NGO) and is recognized as the world’s leading authority on food tourism. Its mission is to drive economic development for the food, drink, travel and hospitality trade. The Association was founded in 2003 by its Executive Director Erik Wolf and today brings innovative food tourism solutions and thought leadership to 35,000+ industry professionals in 139 countries. Learn more at www.WorldFoodTravel.org.