updated - June 4, 2020 Thursday EDT
The market is open and big business opportunities are knocking on the current rising industry for Food and Beverage: Food Tourism.
According to an article on Skift, Food Tourism is the current mainstream consumer trend where travelers go to a specific destination just to experience its food and beverage offerings.
Food Tourism, also known as Culinary tourism, according to the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance (OCTA) basically means "any tourism experience in which one learns about, appreciates and/or consumes food and drink that reflects the local, regional or national cuisine, heritage and culture". OCTA is a non-profit organization that offers consults for F&B-themes tourism development in the world.
The World Food Travel Association, however, provides a much simpler description which defines Food Tourism as: "the pursuit and enjoyment of unique and memorable food and drink experiences, both far and near." Food travel is therefore not limited to going to other countries for gastronomic experiences but can also be done locally.
Food tourism is not a boxed idea of just "gourmet" or fine dining experience as well. As the World Food Travel Association site puts it, Food Tourism is inclusive of all types of food. It includes food carts and street vendors as much as the local gastro pubs, wineries and one-of-a kind restaurants.
In a research done by Mandala Researchers entitled "American Culinary Traveler Report" in 2013, it shows that the number of travelers who travel to learn and enjoy unique dining experiences from the U.S. leisure market grew from 40% to 51% between the years of 2006 and 2013.
Also in the same research, it said that the tourism expenditures on food services in the U.S. reached an estimated $201 billion, which is about a quarter of all travel income. This makes Food Tourism a possible and potential business industry to invest in.
Food services also have the biggest travel spend according to another study from the University of Florida called "A Flash of Culinary Tourism".
This big rise in the F&B business made the Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) step up to the challenge to increase mainstream interest in food travel to new consumer markets. Their response is to create major marketing promotions using events and campaign that focuses on different market levels as targets.
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