The following blog post is about the journey of Laureen Rashof in becoming a food tourism manager her own business.

to Food Tourism Management

Today is the day I have been waiting for. Finally, I am officially opening my own business. Hence, I warmly welcome you to the website of Food Tourism Management (FTM). 

I am Laureen Rashof, born in Dortmund, raised in Schwerte and currently living in Düsseldorf, Germany. In between I was studying and working in Portugal, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Canada and Argentina. To understand how it all started and why you should reach out to FTM when it comes to food tourism, let me introduce you to my journey.

The international education helped Laureen Rashof to become a Food Tourism Manager

International Education

In addition to school, I worked at an event space and catering company. So, when I graduated with the German Abitur, I was curious to find out more about this industry. Therefore, I moved to Portugal, to Bulgaria and back to Portugal where I worked at different hotels. On site, I organised events and the entertainment programmes. After having interned at an event company and a travel agency, I decided to move to the Netherlands. At Stenden University of Applied Sciences I studied International Tourism Management (Bachelor of Business Administration).

Next to my studies, I organised events with up to 2000 international guests where DJs such as Kriss Kross Amsterdam, Yellow Claw and Lady Bee were hosted. Ultimately, I became the Head of Events of StuRa ITM. Furthermore, I supported the university’s marketing and communications department. Additionally, during the summers, I worked as a Leisure Time Coordinator for a language school. Consequently, I planned and executed the leisure programme for groups of up to 100 international pupils.

Becoming a Food Tourism Manager in South America

Let's go on Grand Tour

After 2.5 years in the Netherlands, I enrolled at Western University and Brescia University College in Ontario, Canada to specialise in Leadership and Entrepreneurship. After that, I moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina. As part of my study programme, I worked as the Operations Management Assistant at a destination management company. In fact, I handled the travel arrangements for high end and adventure travel companies there. Fortunately for me, many of our suppliers offered food travel products. So, I travelled to Chile, Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil and through Argentina to experience the destinations’ authentic cuisines. That was the first time I imagined opening up my own food tourism business. Scroll up to see the pictures!

Laureen Rashof's dissertation about food tourism managers in the Ruhr Area

Foodies in the Ruhr Area

At the same time, I was writing my Bachelor dissertation about The Potential of Food Tourism in the Ruhr Area (where I grew up). Eventually, I uncovered that food tourism in the area is neglected although more than 80% of (inter-) national tourists would love to discover more about its traditional cuisine. Obviously, I realised how much potential lies in the food tourism industry – not only in South America.

Laureen Rashof goes back to the Netherlands to become a Food Tourism Manager

Back to the roots

Finally, I graduated from Stenden University of Applied Sciences with distinction. In addition, I was certified as a Sustainability Manager by Travelife. I decided to continue my studies, so I moved back to the Netherlands to study International Leisure, Tourism & Events Management (Master of Arts). I specialised in Innovation and Entrepreneurship working on a food tourism business. Particularly, for my dissertation I investigated The Impact of Food Influencer Marketing on Destination Image

After having completed my Master of Arts with distinction, I moved back to Germany to gain relevant industry experience. At my first full-time job I was responsible for organising sales- and marketing-oriented measures for live entertainment. Examples are a hotel marketing campaign and a road show for the theatre play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a customer event for the musical Bodyguard as well as several sales measures for the musical Starlight Express.

The pandemic for Laureen Rashof led to becoming a food tourism manager

Making the best out of it

Due to the pandemic, all events were cancelled. As a consequence, I had enough time to reflect on the past years, to picture where I want to be in the future and to think about what I can do to get there. Hence, I interned at a destination marketing agency and became a state-certified Online Marketing Manager specialising in social media. After that, I freelanced as a social media marketer for a tour operator.

Since then I have been completing further education. I am certified in Tourism & Travel Management (The University of Queensland), Hospitality & Tourism Management (Florida Atlantic University), International Project Management (Technische Hochschule Lübeck), Basics of Online Marketing (Google LLC), Entrepreneurship & Innovation Management (Technische Universität Kaiserslautern), Search Engine Marketing (Technische Hochschule Lübeck), Digital Story Design (Think Big eCademy), Social Media Marketing (HubSpot) and Marketing (Fachhochschule Lübeck). 

Suddenly, I got a job offer as a Marketing Manager which I could not decline. Nonetheless, I noticed that my hunger for starting my own business did not vanish but intensified. So, I dared to quit to start an intense business coaching.

Laureen Rashof is finally a food tourism manager

Totally worth it

Today, I am very happy that I listened to my gut! Thanks to everyone who has supported me along my journey and will do so in the future!

From now on, I look forward to working together with you on developing food tourismincreasing quality of lifeprotecting traditional cuisines and generating further socio-economic benefits for local communities. 

Let’s connect to find out how we can support each other.

Laureen Rashof, 01.03.2022