The pleasure to taste a good… trip – part 1

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Culinary tourism, food tourism, foodies, culinary tourists, cooking classes, street food, farmers’ market… these ones are the emerging topics of touristic market. They are included in a new trend developing over the years and well connected with worldwide economies, especially with those of minor destinations. Returning to the marketing citeria of some time ago (see “Luxury Travel and Marketing for travel agencies” article), here we focus on a cutting-edge and worlwide charmed topic: food tourism, a phenomenon in which trips are chosen by hearth and by belly.

What is food tourism?

“Food tourism is any tourism experience in which one learns about, appreciates, and/or consumes food and drink that reflects the local, regional or national cuisine, heritage and culture”. This is the official definition of OCTA (Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance), one of the most valued company for the phenomenon study and analysis worldwide. The World Food Travel Association, the no-profit leading company in order to develop this new touristic form, says “We need to clarify ‘far and near'”.

Yes, because food travelers can be fond of long-distance trips as well as their Country short excursions to taste wine and food specialities. That’s why food travel promotes an increasing number of trips to discover a place, its history, its culture, its people without considering its position.

Why can selling Food&Bevarage trips be useful?

The growing interest towards Food & Bavarage (F&B) trips is due to several reasons, among these the fact that food is always more protagonist of the great media boom, the Km0 and biological growing importance (declared also by the most famous brands)and the introduction of high profile events in order to value local cookings (for example Expo, Dubai Food Festival 2020, etc.).

A travel agent can study strategically many activities to enlarge his clientele and to increase his turnover. As always the common key is choosing the rightest destination, including suggestions and activities in combination with the place discovery: for example food, wine, beer festivals; visits to farms or artisan studios; tours to discover a place or a nation food; cooking classes; wine tastings; eating in restaurants where the food is produced by them; educational events about the topic; indications about the destinations farmers’ markets and so on.

OCTA and Skift studies (American Travel marketing agency) confirm what just said: travelers with particular culinary preferences spend not only for an occasional food taste but rather to attend entertaining activities, to go shopping, to stay at medium-high range hotels in order to live new experiences.

The useful criteria to arrange the right food trip for your customers

Local. Authentic. If the destination, the accommodation and the activities connected to the trip are local and authentic, you’re on the right way. It’s very important that all services you offer could lead to an original and native experience. Tell. Tell. Tell. Food has become so important because the more experts talk about it in an emotional way, immersing us in a context unrelated to the daily routine, touching feelings and emotions. So only telling potential experiences you can spread culture and information to your customers, helping them to choose the right trip. In other words: it is the right way to satisfy them and complete the task.

The most suitable targets: we are glad to present you “the foodies”

Culinary tourists (also said food tourists or foodies) follow a precise and sociological behaviour (source: Skift report 2015, The Rise of Culinary Tourism: 11):

  1. they are concerned about the origin of the products
  2. for them dining means to socialize and to exchange experiences with other people
  3. they have an higher-than-average spending power on trips
  4. they have an high fidelization rate to their travel consultants
  5. they return to visit the same destinations according to the perceived food and wine quality
  6. they are also cultural tourists

There are three categories of food tourist:

  1. Those who want to travel only for tasting new cookings
  2. Those who include a food and wine experience in their itinerary, without it becomes the primary motivator.
  3. Those who decide to eat only on the fly

In addition to these three cases, your suggestions and your professionalism are important in order to give the added value hat travelers would not find outside the Agency context.

Coming soon




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