Visit Philly joins Foodspotting to create virtual food tour

    There are two ways to describe Visit Philly’s partnership with Foodspotting.

    For the social media aficionado: It’s like Flickr and Foursquare combined to help you share great food with other users.

    For everyone else: It’s a website and smartphone app that lets you find, follow and share great foods with other users.

    “Pennsylvania has a lot of momentum on Foodspotting, just like Pennsylvania has a lot of momentum on Foursquare,” Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation’s Caroline Bean tells NewsWorks.

    Visit Philly, the city’s official visitors’ site, has teamed up with Foodspotting, the social media tool that allows users to connect using local foods. And Philly’s joined the party in a big way.

    Foodspotting users can “follow” 12 guides designed using Visit Philly’s content and try recommended dishes like local cheese at Reading Terminal Market. Snap a photo so other users can see how tasty it was, and by doing so you earn status points and badges.

    There are already guides to farmers markets, vegetarian dishes, local beers and of course, the cheesesteak. Others guides include Latin-inspired food and drinks that go hand-in-hand with Visit Philly’s Te Ama marketing campaign. More guides are due out this summer, but Philly’s role in Foodspotting is already impressive.

    Bean says the region is the “first destination to launch a partnership [with Foodspotting] this size.” Visit Bucks County was the first on board, and tipped Visit Philly off the value of using Foodspotting as a tourism guide. But aside from smaller guides like ones from Baltimore Restaurant Week and a magazine in San Francisco, Bean says Philly’s presence on Foodspotting is unmatched.

    The launch was announced earlier this week, and right now, Bean says GPTMC is encouraging people to follow the guides listed on Visit Philly’s branded Foodspotting page, and is reaching out to local bars and restaurants to let them know their dishes are included.

    And because this is Philly and we’re all just a little bit competitive, Visit Philly is holding a contest to celebrate the new partnership. You can see the full contest rules on uwishunu, but the objective is simple: Complete the Famous Philly Flavors guide between now and May 25 at 5 p.m. and you could be randomly selected for a grand prize: an overnight stay at a luxury Philadelphia hotel, a City Food Tours’ Flavors of Philly excursion for two and a $100 Garces Restaurant Group gift card. Ten first prize winners will be randomly selected for Flavors of Philly tour by City Food Tours.

    Don’t let all the badge-earning and prize winning distract from the bigger picture: tons of great food you may not have known about. As Bean described the network: “It’s a way of people being able to share good food with other users.”

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