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NRA board member to address international tourism professionals

Underscoring the essential role of restaurants to the travel-and-tourism industry, National Restaurant Association Board member…

Underscoring the essential role of restaurants to the travel-and-tourism industry, National Restaurant Association Board member and co-owner of Culinary Enterprises, Inc., in Capitola, CA, Ted Burke will deliver a luncheon address at the First International Conference on Culinary Tourism on May 18, 2004.

This inaugural conference, organized by the International Culinary Tourism Association in Canada, aims to raise awareness of the impact of international travel on the restaurant industry worldwide and of the importance of dining to tourists and visitors.

Restaurateurs must understand the essential role they play in travel-and-tourism-and the synergy between both industries-and speak with one voice to ensure that our industry is represented and promoted at all levels of government and markets, said Association President and Chief Executive Officer Steven C. Anderson. America`s 878,000 restaurants are not only the cornerstone of the nation`s economy, career and employment opportunities and community involvement, but also the cornerstone of travel-and-tourism.

Many restaurants rely on travelers for the success of their business, and many travelers would not consider a trip successful if it didn`t include great dining experiences, said Burke. It is important for all of us to get involved and make tourism a priority issue. Dining out is a destination activity for virtually all travelers, whether traveling for business or pleasure, and therefore restaurants need to be at the forefront of tourism promotions in their communities.

Ted Burke is the vice chairman of the National Restaurant Association`s Board of Directors Tourism Committee, the former chairman of the California Restaurant Association and the only elected restaurant industry representative to the

California Travel and Tourism Commission, on which he currently serves as vice chair. He will address the attendees of the conference on Tuesday, May 18, 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. and will underscore the restaurant industry`s vital role in travel and tourism and share his experiences on how restaurateurs can make this a priority issue.

The First International Conference on Culinary Tourism, held May 15-18, in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, is expected to attract more than 200 leaders from the world`s food, beverage and travel industries. It will feature seminars, workshops and speakers from six countries.

The Association encourages all restaurant-industry professionals to get involved in their local tourism promotion boards and convention and visitor bureaus to actively promote their important role in travel and tourism.

According to Association research, August is the most popular month of the year to dine out, followed by July, May and June, indicating summer vacationers make dining out an important part of their travel activities. In addition, travelers and visitors account for roughly 30 percent of sales at fine dining restaurants and approximately 20 percent of sales at family-and casual dining restaurants; although quickservice restaurants rely more on local customers, they do derive about 15 percent of sales from tourism.

Theodore Koumelis
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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.