For many years tourism has been about traveling to various destinations around the world that have a historic value or those that boast of attractions such as wildlife, beaches, beautiful landscapes, mountains, and so on. However, this is gradually changing and a new trend in tourism is emerging – culinary travel.
Restaurants and eateries around the world offer various local cuisines, which attract travelers from all over the world. Businesses in the food industry have taken advantage of this new trend and are offering unforgettable meal experience to culinary travelers. This has seen the meals themselves become a tourist attraction, transforming the local areas into popular destinations. Some restaurants have even created various programs that are designed to provide tourists with memorable culinary travel adventure.
One such program is a cooking game referred to as “Challenge the Chef”, which is offered at a Rosewood Resort in Mexico. According to Fabrice Guisset, the Executive Chef of the resort, several guests who are on vacation have an interest in cooking and sharing their recipes with other guests.
The cooking game offers a light-hearted competition, where guests can cook dishes with instructions from the restaurant chefs. After preparing the meals, they are judged according to the ingredients used, preparation techniques and presentation. The best dishes are then added to the menu for a period of one week under the guest's name.
For travelers in search of unique culinary experience, there are several culinary programs that you can take part in. For example, Four Seasons Resort located in the Caribbean offers a program called “Dive and Dine”. The program allows culinary travelers with diving experience to catch their own meal. The culinary adventure of the program combined with the exciting diving experience makes for one unforgettable moment, which will have any adventure seeking traveler coming back for more.
Participants in the “Dive and Dine” program are taken to spots where they can catch their meal – lobsters – by boat. The meals are then prepared at a private beach restaurants, where participants can pick up useful cooking tips. The program is marketed as a luxury culinary experience, charging as high as $1,950 for two people.
There are also programs that are suited for tourists who love to enjoy delicious cuisine, but prefer not to be bothered by the hassles of catching or preparing their own meal. A good example is the Michelin dining program offered at Hotel Arts Barcelona. The hotel provides their guests with VIP access to world-class restaurants in the region, where they can make reservation for meals.
The program makes the experience more memorable by providing luxurious transportation from the hotel to the restaurant using helicopters. The helicopter journey is offered as a scenic tour of Barcelona lasting about an hour, where guests can view iconic sights, the coastal towns, beaches and the inland landscape of the city.
While the program is quite luxurious and expensive, going for nearly $5,000 per couple, it has gained a lot of popularity among tourists around the world, turning the region into a popular destination. Local chefs have taken advantage of the trend and started their own restaurants, which has helped to market the region as a popular culinary travel destination.