Gastronomic tourism can play an important role in preserving local heritage while leveraging existing tourism assets and driving innovation. By increasing visitor demand for local food and beverages, food tourism contributes to the long-term sustainability of local agriculture, food systems, communities and culture. Food tourism is much more than enjoying a good meal, a pint of beer or a glass of wine during a trip. It's a way of immersing ourselves in the culture and heritage of a region, making the experience memorable in a completely unique and personal way.
Around the world, wine, beer and food festivals turn a particular city or country into a gastronomic destination. Foodie tourists can cycle around Belgium and, for the true foodie adventurer, the 10-day Flanders Discovery Tour is packed with brewery tours, gourmet meals cooked with beer and a cheese extravaganza, in different cities in northeastern Belgium. It allows foodie tourists and taste hikers to learn about food in detail, as well as the concept of paddock to plate. Culinary tourism is fundamental to modern tourism and contributes directly to a country's hospitality industry and economy.
From a country and culture perspective, it is important to develop its food culture to support the growing trend of culinary tourism. This means that food tourism companies can work together to deliver high-quality, multi-sensory experiences that exceed visitors' expectations. Food tourism experiences have more integrity when they provide flavors of places that are based on the foods of an area. Gastronomic tourism and culture have become the main hook of travel, with authenticity being the most important movement driving consumer behavior today.