Culinary tourism is one of travel’s biggest trends. The World Food Travel Association reports that 93% of leisure travelers “participated in a unique food or beverage activity while traveling in the last two years.” As the idea of traveling to experience other regions’ food becomes more common, food tourism trends are changing. The latest culinary tourism trends encourage travelers to experience all their destination has to offer.
1. Authentic Experiences
People from all over the world relate to the experience of a good meal. Food tourism today focuses on authentic culinary experiences. Rather than jet to longtime foodie havens like Italy or France, travelers are heading to locations such as the Philippines, Australia and South Africa for authentic regional dishes.
Instead of making reservations at fine dining establishments, these food fanatics are enjoying fare from markets, festivals, food halls, street vendors and even local residents’ homes. When culinary tourists opt for sit-down meals, they’re looking for dishes with local ingredients that were prepared in house.
2. Sharable Elements
Picture-perfect food is one way destinations draw social media-savvy tourists. Beautiful dishes, served in stunning locations and paired with sharable experiences, are a food tourism trend that continues to influence travelers.
3. Hands On Meals
Cooking classes and food tours are a great way to spend an evening in almost any destination. These experiences exist in many different forms; finding the right one for your trip shouldn’t be difficult. Hands on meals introduce local ingredients and regional techniques you won’t learn while dining in a restaurant. Tours led by locals introduce travelers to eateries they otherwise may not have found.
4. Sustainable Food Tourism
Just as sustainability is a focus in other elements of travel, it is now trending in food tourism as well. Travelers are interested in visiting restaurants that cook with seasonal ingredients sourced locally. It is also possible to take food sourcing tours, to see for yourself how regional ingredients are grown, harvested, transported and cooked.