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Portrait Armando [Andy] Cristofori

bradkay - Andy-085OR

Italian born, but moved to Australia at the age of 11, Armando Cristofori has since 1985 been among the forerunners of tourism promotion strategies based on the potential attractiveness of gastronomy as an expression and economic fly-walk of the territory.

After working for years in marketing for colossus across various industries and the governments of several Asian countries, he has decided to dedicate a good portion of his time to bettering the objectives of the World Gourmet Society, and is the major promoter behind the WGS Best Plate Challenge. In the culinary world, Armando [or as his Aussie friends call him – Andy] is also the Global Ambassador for the World Food & Travel Association and a Professional Member with the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs the Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Dégustateurs and Slow Food International. Now back in Italy, he currently lives in Florence and is continuing with a professional doctorate focused on the intersection of food and travel.
Probably the best definition of Armando is the quintessence of diversity: he is a real melting pot in which the various souls coexist, and almost always in harmony. His heritage is Caucasian but his ancestors came from the Himalayas via ancient Greece. His elementary schooling took place in Italy and Switzerland, while secondary and tertiary in Sydney and more recently at various universities in Queensland, Australia. His mother is from a family of acrobatic performers and his father from the German speaking part of Italy – Süd Tirol.

book dishes

His business and social skills have been forged and fine-tuned by his time in Japan and Thailand. With formal qualifications in finance, real estate, crime prevention, timeshare, marketing and advertising, travel and tourism, architecture, and linguistics, Andy's work has taken him across an array of sectors. He has worked in marketing for giants such as the Thailand Board of Investments, Thomas Cook Travel, Fidelity Securities, Morgan Grenfell, and the Tourism Authority of Thailand – where he was responsible for tourism infrastructure development in both the ASEAN and the Mekong Basin countries and taught at universities such as UTS and Bond, as well as several private colleges and polytechnics.
On the personal side, over the years he has encountered diverse cultures on all populated continents but one – Africa. And plans to visit both Africa and Antarctica in the very near future.

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Armando is also a Travel Writer & Photographer with the Australian News Syndicate, an accomplished author with books sold in over 120 countries, and a Distinguished Toastmasters with an enviable track record of chartering/coaching clubs and mentoring members across all continents.
From his office in Florence, Armando is helping to organise various projects and researching the strong relationship between tourism and gastronomy, that governments and industry have barely recognized, and only superficially since the mid-1990s.
"This study intends to make a significant and original contribution to the body of knowledge associated with the development of a sustainable traditional food & beverage focused leisure industry in global-city regions around the world. I'm interested to define the concept of traditional food/cuisine and food & beverage trails, and explore potential futures faced by key stakeholders of 'traditional food & beverage trails' in global-city regions," Armando says.

"I believe that the roots of food tourism lie in agriculture, culture, and tourism: those three components offer opportunities and activities, to market and position food tourism as an attraction and experience in a destination. Agriculture provides the product, namely, food; culture provides the history and authenticity; and tourism provides the infrastructure, services, and combines the three components into the food tourism experience.

"Consequently, I would like to show that 'traditional food & beverage trails' can prosper in any global-city region around the world, subject to certain enablers and disablers. Of course, this study involves philosophy, history, science, culture, sociology, culinary arts, anthropology, gastronomy, agriculture, tourism, education, employment, and economics."
Armando can also be found on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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