The most prominent force driving consumers to travel today is the authenticity in food tourism and culture. Dining experiences in hotels are important to travelers from all over the world as they embark on a new journey in a foreign destination. Here are some reasons why food is important to a travelers.
Food tourism is about much more than just enjoying a good meal, a pint of beer, or a glass of wine during a trip. It is a way of immersing ourselves into the culture and heritage of a region, making the experience memorable in a completely unique and personal way.
The success of this sector is linked to an increasingly noticeable trend: the search for authentic experiences among the growing number of travellers who are tired of tourism for tourists.
For all businesses linked to gastronomy, culture, and tourism, this couldn’t be a better opportunity for those wanting to move forward, gain greater visibility, and attract more customers.
According to the Global Report on Food Tourism by the World Tourism Organization, the average tourist spends around a third of their holiday budget on food. This shows the degree to which this sector is involved with a visitor’s in-destination experience. However, it’s worth emphasising that not all visitors arrive at a destination solely to enjoy gourmet food, nor do all culinary businesses offer this experience.
So, what the real essence of Culinary Tourism?
The Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance (OCTA) says that culinary tourism “includes any tourism experience in which a person learns about, appreciates, consumes or – dare we say – indulges in food and drink that reflects the local cuisine, heritage, or culture of a place”.
This concept is particularly interesting if we contrast it against our modern society that is becoming more and more globalised, where products and services are quickly replicated in different corners of the world. In this context, food tourism becomes the defining characteristic of a region’s identity.
Culinary tourists are not only interested in the food they’re enjoying – which must be locally sourced, of course – but also want to know more about its history, its production and its journey to the plate. A clear example of this is the growing success of wine tourism. Through these experiences, visitors not only taste great wine, but also discover its origin, participate in the grape harvest and even buy the product they helped to make.
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