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Belmond looks to dine out on culinary tourism in 'The Art of Gastronomy'

Luxury hotel and travel brand Belmond has invested in a stylistic global campaign exploring 'The Art of Gastronomy' as it looks to capitalise on the trend for "culinary tourism".

In the US alone around 39 million travellers choose their destination based on the eating and drinking experiences on offer, according to the University of Florida.

Spotting an opportunity to drive both awareness and revenue, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and Hotel Cipriani owner has created a series of spots – including an ad and branded films – to showcase its gastronomic experiences.

Branded content will run across social and on Belmond's own portfolio of websites and properties, including its hotels, trains and river cruises.

Instagram will play a central role in the campaign, with Belmond's senior vice-president of global marketing and brand, Arnaud Champenois, saying the luxury brand has noted "huge growth there this year."

PR and experiential events will also promote specific local experiences; shining a spotlight on packages like breakfast with elephants in Botswana to drinking bubbles in the champagne region.

The campaign was created in-house with help from Publicis 133.

Separately, Champenois explained that Belmond worked with trends intelligence agency Future Labratory to discover "future customers".

Instead of using demographics like age, culture or profession, the brand identified targets based on their media consumption, their motivations to travel and other brands they admired.

Champenois said that while social is a big focus, Belmond hasn't inked any deals with influencers to push out the campaign on their personal profiles. What the brand is already doing, though, is repurposing user generated content from guests on its own channels to support its advertising.

It's using platforms like Olapic, which transforms UGC into rights-free promotional images, to facilitate this.

When asked wheter this UCG drives greater engagement for Belmond on sites like Instagram, Champenois says it varies: "Yes, I think it's always a balance though. People like to hear from us directly or through guests. It's a mix."

'The Art of Gastronomy' is part of a wider campaign that will run across the year, tying in food with seasonality. It follows on from the brand's 'The Art of Belmond' positioning which celebrated the art of living well or‘Art of Savoir-Vivre’.

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