The South Puts Marketing Dollars Where Our Mouths Are

    Culinary Tourism Focus of New Web site (
    Marketing Campaign Targeting Canadians

    ATLANTA, Sept. 11 /CNW/ -- The South's food and restaurants are playing a
major role in marketing travel to the Southern States.  Travel South USA
(TSUSA), a marketing consortium of twelve Southern states, recently launched a
food-centric marketing campaign which specifically targets the Canadian travel

    Canadian Travel Research: How Canadians Select Travel Destinations

    Recent TSUSA research ( indicates
that while Canadians do not find Canadian and Southern culture, language and
social customs to be significantly different, they do find Southern cuisine to
be different.  Unique culinary experiences are a leading topic of interest to
Canadian travelers when selecting a tourism destination.
    For these reasons, the group has focused on marketing to the Canadian
audience through a number of new initiatives including a new website
(, newspaper inserts, public relations
appearances, social networking opportunities, contests, video games, online TV
and recipes.

    Southern Hospitality = Recipes and Food

    "One thing all Southern states share is a wealth of distinctive and
delicious foods.  Food plays a huge role in the Southern experience," said Liz
Bittner, Executive Director, Travel South USA.  "It's how we demonstrate our
hospitality, how we show our love and the time when we bring our loved ones
together to relive the day's events.
    "By marketing great Southern food and inviting our Canadian friends to
'Discover the Flavours of the South,' we are inviting them to not merely eat,
but to experience and enjoy distinct destinations."

    "Foodies" An Important Leisure Travel Segment

    The strategy is in keeping with a national trend in marketing travel and
tourism.  A February 2007 survey by the Travel Industry Association of America
(TIA) reveals that culinary tourism -- defined as travel to learn about or
enjoy unique and memorable eating-and-drinking experiences -- is taking hold
in the American vocabulary. One-quarter of all leisure travelers say food is
central to their destination selection, and that number increases to 51
percent for culinary travelers (those engaging in culinary activities during
leisure trips). Restaurant-related activities scored by far the highest among
all food-related activities, and more than six out of 10 (63 percent) leisure
travelers and 85 percent of culinary travelers say they like trying new
restaurants most nights during trips.

For further information:

For further information: Becky Behrends, +1-404-231-1790, for Travel
South  USA Web Site:

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