Culinary tourism is growing in popularity among all types of travelers. The fast growing sharing economy provide them with more options and opportunities to discover destinations that have never been on the foodie trail. Additionally, new technology is also an essential part of the current culinary travel trends.
The World Food Travel Association released its FoodTrekking Monitor report, predicting the trends for this year. Focus on local products, sustainability, and authenticity grow in strength all over the food tourism world. Here are the latest trends according to the association:
Changes in Demographics
Gourmet travelers of today are evolving, changing all of the past perceptions about them. The youngest customers are from Asia and the oldest ones are from North America. The most popular destinations for food and drink tours are North America and Europe. The average trip length globally is 5.3 days. The number of customer bookings made entirely online is less than one-third.
The new breed of food & drink travelers is also more likely to overindulge on some of the affordable luxury experiences such as attending a cooking class at Hotel Ritz or a tasting lesson at multi-course at one of the trendy restaurants in New York.
Increased Sensitivity about Sustainability
More and more people are concerned about the packaging and food and drink wastage. Many of them subscribe to the reduce-reuse-recycle motto and are taking coffee mugs and refillable water bottles with them.
Local Food and Drink Highly in Demand
The interest in sourcing and buying food and drink locally continues. Travelers are looking out for local gourmet shops and markets. Travelers also would like to see such shops at train stations and airport terminals.
Travelers now spend more on food, drink and other experiences because of increased food, drink, water, transportation and labor costs.
Travelers Are More Knowledgeable
Travelers of today are more knowledgeable, but they continue to seek new and different experiences. Smart food and drink sellers entice travelers with new products and ingredients.
Authenticity Is Important
Foodie travelers want to experience authentic menus. Whether they are exploring a neighborhood, city, region or country, they are looking for local food experience.
Increased Competition among Destinations
Tourism offices around the world vie for a piece of the cake. In 2015, travelers increasingly look for destinations that have hitherto not been considered as hot spots for foodies.
Strong Growth in Mobile Usage
The strong growth in mobile usage drives the need for availability of fast and reliable 3G/4G/Wi-Fi services for free. For new generation travelers, it is almost a necessity. The iPad ordering systems, an emerging tech trend, is embraced by greater amounts of globetrotters.
Health and Wellness
Health and wellness aspects are an integral part of the food and drink tourism industry. Travelers go for fresher and healthier food options at airports, hotels, restaurants, and on planes and trains. They are also looking for more culinary adventure experience options by way of tours and packages.