Published April 3, 2012
Food is one of the fastest growing interests among travellers in tourist hot spots like In places like South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, India, Egypt, and Myanmar where the culinary tourism industry is gaining rapid popularity. It is an extremely viable option for cultural exchange and economic revival of a place.
The International Culinary Tourism Association reports that food is not just among the top travellers’ interests but it is as important for tourists as aspects like accommodation, scenery and climate. Cuisine provides tourists an opportunity to experience the exotic gastronomies of a particular place. Most travellers prefer to sample the local exquisite dishes.
Instances of architecture, landscape, museums, and hospitality may attract a tourist at a particular travel destination, but culinary tourism is a growing aspect of tourism economy in tourist hot spots.
The International Culinary Tourism Association offers the following evidence in support of the tremendous growth in the culinary tourism industry:
1. The number of consumer requests received via the Association�s website continue to grow and are nearly at their pre-economic recession (2008) level.
2. The number of consumer-oriented restaurant information websites has grown from fewer than a dozen in 2003 to 173 in 2012.
3. The number of culinary tour operators around the world has grown from just a handful in 2003 to nearly 150 in 2012.
4. The Association�s membership has grown to more than 16,000 food and tourism trade professionals since 2003, when the Association was founded.
Culinary tourism may comprise gourmet food but it is not limited to it. It aims to provide a memorable experience for the tourists. Of all foodies, only 8% of them are gourmet food enthusiasts.
Culinary tourism is a great way to exchange cultures. To develop the culinary tourism aspect of any destination, a fourfold action plan can be adopted:
1. Parking Spots
A lack of parking spots can discourage tourists and many would drive away even without taking a second glance. To stop that, the local restaurants should provide ample parking space and advertise it too. Providing valet service is also a good strategy.
2. Ground Breaking Ideas
Way of presentation, imagination and novel notions can catch a tourist’s attention. Kedonganan – Jimbaran is a fishing village in Bali that has been remodelled as a hot seat of culinary tourism. There are 24 cafes dotting the shores of the village that provide seafood delicacies.
3. Good Relations with the Locals
It would pay real well to treat the locals nicely. Employing them in the restaurants or collaborating with them would help. This would prompt them to redirect tourists to dining places and thus bring in a boom in business.
4. Collaboration with Other Restaurants
It is unwise to regard other restaurants as competition. Instead, if many restaurants collaborated in forming a chain and entered a business relation, it would be much more profitable for them.