Culinary Travel: Incredible Vacations con Epicurean Delights

Food travel“Everyone has to eat,” said World Food Travel Association president and CEO Erik Wolf he founded in 2003 for the purpose of promoting the culture of eating and drinking though travel.

Wolfe is right. Eating is a human activity that intends to meet a biological need and more. It is also about being with and meeting people to satisfy a social pang. It is also about immersing in a culture and delving into history. According to Samantha Shankman of Skift (Destination Section) in her post The Big Business of Food Tourism and Why It Matters, “Food tourism tells the story of a destination’s history, culture, and people.”  Skift reports that food or culinary tourism is fast rising.

Interesting Facts about Food Travel/Tourism

The Report says, “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.”

Despite the fact that eating and enjoying food are as old as human history, the concept of going on travel just to have an experience for a specific food and beverage (F&B) has just been a new mainstream consumer trend. This is now commanding a huge share in the food and travel business. In 2012, it has gone as high as $201 billion in the United States alone, while “… dining experiences grew from 40% to 51% between 2006 and 2013.”  The report also said there is an estimated 39 million U.S. leisure travelers that use local food attractions as a basis in selecting a travel destination.

With these trends and figures, it is not surprising that hotels are spending big budgets to upgrade their eating facilities and introduce food related services to cater to this growing market. With digital technology, sharing the traveler’s culinary experiences with people around the world has gone viral. This is driving this generation’s powerful social media activity concerning food and distinctive culinary experiences, local food-themed travel products and, destinations.

Delicious Travel Destinations

The number of places you can go to for that unique eating/drinking experience is almost infinite. For a short list check out the suggestions made by Lena Katz for ABC News – Travel Section in the post Incredible Epicurean Vacations.  Katz said, “Culinary travel is getting more delicious–and ambitious–every time we turn around. A slew of new, creative and highly specialized culinary travel experiences take the entire niche to the next level.”

  • Cultures & Cuisines in Oman
  • Michelin Helicopter Lunches at Hotel Arts, Barcelona
  • Sickles Market – Buyer’s Trip to Sicily
  • Sickles Market: Behind the Scenes in Sicily
  • Culinary Cruising with Lindblad Expeditions
  • A Luxury Farm Stay at Foxglove Farm
  • Plate & Pitchfork in Portland
  • Go Garagiste in Paso Robles
  • Outside Lands, the Gourmet Music Festival

Have you experienced spending a holiday in some faraway place and feel like it’s wanting in pleasure and fun? If you are looking for the missing piece, try summoning your guts and eating what the locals eat. This can step up the experience and spell a difference in your days abroad.

There is so much to gain when you step outside your comfort zone. Forget McDonald’s or some fancy, fine-dining restaurants that can stress your budget. Instead, go and try foods cooked the local way and eaten in an unusual ambiance or setting. Try and ask the residents where the locals go; you’ll be surprised at the cheapest prices, the enticing aromas and the rich flavor that wait to perk your senses. This can be the missing piece to make your holiday a most memorable one.

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