Gees Bees Honey Company is among the popular honey farms in Canada. During the recent field trip, Marianne Gee, the owner of the business, shed light on new challenges at the times of COVID-19 and answered questions about the farm’s history and some nuances of beekeeping. This paper uses takeaways from the field trip and other professional sources to propose measures that the honey company can implement to improve their culinary and beverage tourism product.
One opportunity to further improve the honey farm’s offerings for tourists is to create more variety in product tasting experiences by including local desserts and drinks with honey from the farm. The continuity of consumer experiences and the opportunity to choose between multiple options can create benefits for the providers of culinary tourism products (Croce & Perri, 2017a). Particularly, based on wine tourism case studies, “food and wine pairing sessions” and the provision of food accompaniments to wine can add to clients’ satisfaction with tasting sessions (Croce & Perri, 2017a, p. 160).
Gees Bees Honey Company can implement this knowledge by transforming its honey tasting sessions for tourists into unique opportunities to explore the culinary uses of honey and learn about local recipes with honey. For example, aside from currently available varieties of honey, guests can be offered honey cakes or other desserts with honey and refreshing honey drinks. Although it might be challenging in terms of process organization, such opportunities can drastically improve foreign tourists’ gastronomic experiences, probably resulting in positive word-of-mouth promotion abroad.
Next, the honey farm can be recommended to continue the efforts aimed at creating learning experiences targeted at different customer populations. According to research, food tourists are mainly presented by people that have positive attitudes towards lifelong learning and demonstrate high expectations in terms of tour organization (Slocum & Curtis, 2018).
As per the field trip, Marianne and her husband have experimented with tours and virtual programs aimed at kids, but no program modifications to meet the needs of adult tourists that specialize in beekeeping are mentioned. During the virtual field trip, Marianne mentioned the team’s encounter with a large group of experienced beekeepers from South Korea and that the group had already known everything that was covered during the trip. For foreign beekeepers willing to engage in the exchange of experiences and support a professional discussion, specific programs and activities may need to be developed.
To continue, to make tours more attractive for professional beekeepers from other regions and encourage new learning, Gees Bees Honey Company is advised to make changes to tour content. Based on tourist classification, which can be applied to app tourists as well, experts or knowledgeable tourists expect highly professional communication and avoid combining their interest in food with other activities (Croce & Perri, 2017b).
Based on this, the basics of beekeeping and the process of honey production should be omitted during tours for those with advanced knowledge. This information can be replaced by activities and discussions devoted to best practices in the sensory analysis of honey, recent clinical research, or quality control innovations (Marcazzan, Mucignat-Caretta, Marchese, & Piana, 2018). The opportunity to learn more about honey quality standards in Canada is likely to be appreciated by foreign professionals visiting the honey farm.
Another product improvement recommendation is related to the existing opportunities to diversify the set of non-edible products that farm visitors can purchase. According to the conversation with Marianne and the farm’s official website, the company already makes use of natural beeswax to produce candles that tourists can buy as souvenirs (Gees Bees Honey Company, n.d.).
Despite the product’s advantages, candles may be perceived as unremarkable welfare items, which may have implications for sales. To make their tourism product more unique and attractive, Marianne and her husband can launch easy-to-make natural beauty products based on clean beeswax. For example, natural beeswax lip balm and beard balm can be produced by mixing beeswax with essential oils, vegetable oils, and other natural ingredients from local and foreign companies.
New cosmetic products will allow attracting both female and male audiences. They will create positive experiences for those visitors that do not eat honey due to medical conditions and other reasons but want to purchase other products to print the honey farm tour on their memory. During offline and virtual tours, Marianne and her husband will manage to advertise these products by delving into the health benefits of honey and beeswax, including their cosmetic and skin-softening effects.
As Ahmad and Omar (2018) report, health awareness promotes the desire to give preference to natural beauty products, and it makes beeswax-based beauty products a viable proposition. For foreign tourists, these products can become popular as souvenirs, especially if the honey farm will develop unique and organic-looking packaging appealing to those influenced by the natural product trend.
Finally, Gees Bees Honey Company is recommended to attract tourists’ attention to local cuisine during honey tasting sessions, create learning opportunities for tourists that are beekeepers, and launch care products based on beeswax. The use of local desserts and beverages with honey during tasting sessions will enable the farm to attract those interested in local cuisine. Specific tours for professionals can make the farm the key destination for foreign apitourists in Canada. New products with beeswax will take the farm’s uniqueness to the next level and enable tourists to purchase useful souvenirs.
Ahmad, S. N. B., & Omar, A. (2018). Factors driving female consumers’ intention to purchase natural beauty products. International Journal of Accounting, 3(11), 72-81.
Croce, E., & Perri, G. (2017a). Food and wine tourism best practice: Case studies from around the world. In Food and wine tourism: Integrating food, travel, and terroir (2nd ed.) (pp. 153-174). Boston, MA: CABI Publishing.
Croce, E., & Perri, G. (2017b). Tourists on the food and wine trail: Who are they? In Food and wine tourism: Integrating food, travel, and terroir (2nd ed.) (pp. 61-79). Boston, MA: CABI Publishing.
Gees Bees Honey Company. (n.d.). Honey products. Web.
Marcazzan, G. L., Mucignat-Caretta, C., Marchese, C. M., & Piana, M. L. (2018). A review of methods for honey sensory analysis. Journal of Apicultural Research, 57(1), 75-87. Web.
Slocum, S. L., & Curtis, K. R. (2018). Food and agricultural tourism: Theory and best practice. New York, NY: Routledge.