Food tourism, also known as culinary tourism and food tourism, is done by people looking for culinary experiences to broaden their understanding of a culture or lifestyle while traveling. Exploring and discovering new cuisines has always been associated with leisure travel. However, like everything else in this world, gastronomic tourism is evolving and includes more different activities. Culinary tourism doesn't mean you just need to eat gourmet meals abroad.
Culinary tourism means discovering new and authentic culinary experiences, from the best local restaurants to the cheapest street food stalls. Food tourism isn't about the food you eat. It's about opening your mind to new culinary experiences that I've never seen before. This brings us to the next point.
Food tourism is simply traveling beyond your immediate neighborhood to find great food. As mentioned by the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance (OCTA), culinary tourism includes any “tourist experience in which a person learns, appreciates, consumes or, dare we say, indulges in eating and drinking that reflect the local cuisine, heritage or culture of the place. The more you travel, the wider the range of dining experiences you will enjoy. It's not about the food you eat; gastronomic tourism is not necessarily about eating in a luxurious way, but rather about eating adventuringly to seek new culinary experiences.
Foodways Food is more than just what we eat. All the activities and thinking around those things contribute to what performance, concepts, production, procurement, conservation, preparation, presentation, consumption and even cleaning and disposal mean. We can be culinary tourists, exploring a gastronomic culture, through any of these activities. Cooking classes are currently a popular way to learn about other cuisine and often include shopping at local markets as well.
Helping on a farm is another popular way, but few people think of cleaning up after eating as a way to be a tourist. However, as a city girl, it was an adventure to bring leftovers from the table to the chickens when I stayed in a village in Laos (and with my cousins in the Appalachian Mountains). Similarly, conservation methods differ around the world and offer information on food culture, sun-dried squid in Korea, fish frozen in snow in Alaska, sun-dried grapes in raisins, hams hanging in a smokehouse. Gastronomic tourism is the act of traveling for the purpose of experiencing food.
This can be anything from taking a wine tour to visiting a local farmers' market. Food tourism has become a popular way of traveling in recent years, as it gives people the opportunity to connect with local culture through food. And I was dismayed to discover that food was only a secondary activity within hospitality services or, worse, that trying new food was criticized as an expression of colonialist and hegemonic impulses. 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.
Food tourism isn't about dining luxuriously, it's about adventurous dining and learning about new cultures along the way. This means that food tourism companies can work together to deliver high-quality, multi-sensory experiences that exceed visitors' expectations. From a country and culture perspective, it is important to develop its food culture to support the growing trend of culinary tourism. Unlike what some people think, gastronomic tourism is much more than enjoying a meal or a good glass of local wine while traveling.
Around the world, wine, beer and food festivals turn a particular city or country into a gastronomic destination. Food tourism experiences have more integrity when they provide flavors of places that are based on the foods of an area. Food tourism is much more than a list of restaurants or just high-cost activities with a refined gourmet perception. With the rise of food tourism, there is a danger that destinations will start mass-producing food for tourists, rather than focusing on quality.
Gastronomic tourism with a focus on cultural immersion is a strong ally for economic and social development, as well as being unique and unforgettable for the traveler. Walking around food factories is a great way to learn about the production process and see how food is made. If you're interested in trying different types of cuisine while traveling, there are a few things you can do to make the most of your food tourism experience. According to the UNWTO (World Tourism Organization), the average tourist spends about a third of their total vacation budget on food.