Culinary tourism promo launches in Ithaca

A city recognized as one of the “foodiest” in the nation now has a website to showcase it’s foodie-fame, and a whole new plan to promote culinary tourism.The Ithaca/Tompkins County Convention and Visitors Bureau in partnership with the Cornell Cooperative Extension Tompkins County, announced the launch of the new culinary tourism campaign, Farm to Fork, Ithaca, NY. Centered on the new website IthacaFork.com, the project was made possible by a grant from the Tompkins County Tourism Program and will emphasize the restaurants, dining events, and agritourism experiences that involve local foods to promote visitors to the area.Intended to inspire travelers to Ithaca, the website highlights local food events, locavore restaurants, and the nearby farms that make it all possible. The website profiles the authentic farm-to-table culinary experience that led Bon Appétit Magazine to rank Ithaca #6 in “America’s Foodiest Towns” (pop. under 250,000).“Developing a campaign to promote culinary tourism to Tompkins County was a key initiative highlighted in the 2013 Strategic Tourism Plan,” said Kristy Mitchell, Integrated Marketing Manager at the Ithaca Convention & Visitors Bureau. “This stood out to our team as a powerful segment to target for tourism marketing and promotion. Cornell Cooperative Extension brought their local foods expertise and really helped take this idea to the next level.”“The word ‘local’ takes on a different meaning here in Tompkins County, and this project will really reinforce that to visitors,” said Monika Roth, Agriculture Program Leader at the Cornell Cooperative Extension, Tompkins County. “For some farm-to-table initiatives, local can mean hundreds of miles away. For us, local food means sourcing from farmers just down the street.”Ithaca has long been a pioneer in healthful cooking and eating, as shown by the popularity of Moosewood Restaurant and collective of award-winning cookbooks. The Ithaca Fork campaign takes the basics of sharing further, making it interactive and educational. It’s an invitation to dinner in Ithaca, where food on one’s plate can be traced to the farm on which it was grown.

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