2018 has been an exciting and eventful year for us at Hong Kong Foodie. This year, our Hong Kong food tours helped thousands of foodies from around the world create fond memories of Hong Kong’s favorite foods. Through wonderful stories of the neighborhoods and our 30+ eatery partners’ history, participants also got to learn about Hong Kong’s multi-faceted culture. We launched Temple Street Night Foodie Tour, our fourth route featuring Hong Kong street food to seafood. Our Sham Shui Po Foodie Tour celebrated its fifth birthday. Besides doing tours, we also filmed various TV shows, received much press coverage, including being named as one of the world’s best food experiences in 2018, and many more…

Perhaps the most meaningful moment came in October, at the Global Food Tourism Association’s conference in Austin, Texas in the United States., Each year at this conference, several awards are given out to celebrate achievements by various food tour companies. Last year, Hong Kong Foodie won the Quality Award  to recognize one of our Foodie Guides, Carrie, for the superb customer experience delivered to our participants. This year, we are thrilled to announce that Hong Kong Foodie won the Brand Champion Award., an award recognizing a food tour operator who goes above and beyond to give back to their local community and delivers one of a kind representation of their brand. Bravo!

As a Hong Kong food tour operator, we cannot be happier to represent Hong Kong and be selected amongst many other global food tour operators from North and South America, Europe, and Asia that were in the running for this award. The Brand Champion Award recognizes the efforts our team has put in three areas: promote Hong Kong’s food and culture through tourism, support small businesses and also develop the next generation of tourism professionals.

Develop Tourism in Neighborhoods with a Community

As an ambassador for Hong Kong’s food and culture, we love encouraging visitors to explore Hong Kong outside of the traditional touristy areas, particularly visiting areas with a strong community spirit for a true Hong Kong experience. As such, we launched our Sham Shui Po Foodie Tour back in 2013. At the time, few tours (perhaps even none of them) take visitors to this working-class neighborhood. For visitors who did venture to Sham Shui Po, the usual destinations included Ap Liu Street or Golden Computer Centre for electronics or computer components. Over the last five years, through this Foodie Tour, many participants have not only savored exceptional local breakfast to lunch fare, they have also enjoyed the stories told of the hard-working and generous people in this neighborhood, oftentimes even meeting them in person. This year, the Hong Kong Tourism Board launched its new campaign to promote local flavors in Sham Shui Po district, highlighting many fascinating options for visitors to explore. If you have not already joined our Sham Shui Po Foodie Tour, you must do so in 2019!

Support Small Businesses

One of Hong Kong Foodie’s missions is to support small, local, family-run businesses that are so dedicated in serving delicious foods to people who love to eat. Since our inception in 2011, we have sadly witnessed a few tasting locations having to shut down or relocate their businesses due to challenging business environments, including rising rental costs. By bringing a small number of visitors on each of our Foodie Tour to these local eateries, we hope to contribute a bit of extra business to them in the long run, hoping to let more people know about them but yet not contributing to over tourism.

Train Young Tourism Professionals

Tourism is a critical pillar of Hong Kong’s industries and it is important to help develop young tourism professionals. We believe in encouraging more students and young people in Hong Kong to be curious and explore more about our hometown, our culture and our food with the goal of improving local tourism in Hong Kong. In 2018, Hong Kong Foodie once again partnered with Hong Kong Polytechnic University’sSchool of Tourism and Hospitality. Graduate-level students worked on a semester-long consulting project with us giving them the opportunity to solve an actual business challenge in this case study. We look forward to more opportunities to help develop young tourism professionals in Hong Kong.

We want to thank everyone, Hong Kong Foodie’s staff, our Foodie Tour participants, our eatery partners, Hong Kong Tourism Board, our agent partners and anyone who is reading this article. Without you, we would not have won the Global Food Tourism Association Brand Champion Award in 2018. We look forward to more exciting moments in 2019. Happy New Year!