Culinary Tourism: Why It’s an Exploding Business?

Global EAT - Culinary Tourism: Why It's an Exploding Business?
Food and travel go together naturally, as everyone must eat! (Cascades Bali)

What is culinary tourism, and why is it important? Does food and travel go together? Find out why the demand for culinary travel has made a huge leap in the past decade.

Experiencing a destination’s food is elementary to understanding its social structure and surroundings.

Culinary Travel is travelling to experience a destination through a variety of gastronomic activities. A destination’s culinary style reveals its history, culture and influences.

Food and travel go together naturally, as everyone must eat! A subset of cultural tourism — a leisure travel niche market where food and drinks related activities is the attraction.

  • Dining in a restaurant for a unique and unforgettable experience
  • Gourmet food shopping
  • Visits to farmers markets, wineries, orchards, food museums
  • Sampling locally made specialty food and drinks
  • Engaging in agritourism activities
  • Attending food, wine, beer, harvest festivals

Importance and Value

  • Capturing a fast-growing segment of the world’s travel industry
  • Economic vehicle to drive trade, create sustainable development, add social and cultural value to community
  • Innovative approach to position your products and services,and establish a competitive edge
  • Revenue generator for organizations and countries

Read about the rapid growing interest in culinary travel in the following links.

2012 UNWTO Global Report on Food Tourism

Travel Age West


Market Survey

World Travel Market
2015 Global trends

  • Europe: Eating Like Europeans – Peer-to-peer dining websites, offering not only meals but also more authentic travel experiences, are expected to follow in Airbnb’s footsteps.

Canadian Tourism Commission Report

  • Total domestic wine and culinary travel market is predicted to grow from 1.8 million in 2000 to 2.5 million by 2026.

2006 survey by Tourism Industry Association(TIA) in partnership with Gourmet Magazine and the International Culinary Tourism Association:

  • Showed that 27 million travelers, or 17% of American leisure travelers, involved in culinary or wine-related activities while travelling within the past three years.
  • Bright future for the culinary traveler market, as the share of U.S. leisure travelers interested in culinary travel in the near future (60%) is significantly larger than those currently engaged.

Even though, the surveys were done in Canada, UK and US, the results represent a fast developing trend within the international travel industry.