Food Tourism: A Buffet or a Travel
Posted by hussain96 on May 5th, 2017
Food tourism also well-known as culinary tourism or gastronomy tourism, implies travelling from outside the usual environment with the primary objective of exploring food. It has gained increasing attention over the past few years, and tour operators are implementing marketing strategies accordingly. Food tourists may travel within their country to explore the food or choose an international destination based on culinary activities or plan an entire vacation attending cooking classes. Also, food tourism pertains to experiencing the culinary specialties produced in that region through its consumption. Further, food tourism is part of the environmental, cultural and economic history of a country and its people. Travellers find food tourism as a means to sharing life with others, for exchanging experiences and socialising.
Many countries and regions around the globe are focussing on the opportunities that can link food and tourism and are trying to use it as a point of competitive advantage and as a means of destination differentiation. For instance, every Australian state and territory now has a food and wine tourism strategy and an establishment to coordinate food and wine tourism. Other countries that have included food as an important part of their tourism strategy include Scotland, Wales, United Kingdom, Germany and Singapore. Several European destinations, in particular the regions of France, Italy and Spain use their food/wine reputation to promote tourism. Food festivals and events in a destination can bring tourists and locals together in a shared cultural experience. France, Italy, California, Croatia, Vietnam, and Mexico are the popular destinations among culinary tourists. The impact of food tourism is huge and can advance the overall economy of any nation.
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Food Tourism: Trends and Analysis
Food tourism creates an opportunity to diversify the tourism industry, promotes local culture, and brings new uses to the primary sector. Tour operators are focussing on marketing strategies to capitalise on the growing popularity of food tourism by promoting local food traditions and teaching the art of local cooking processes. In addition to knowing the culture and heritage, tourists also want to increase their sensory experience mainly through food while travelling to a particular destination. Though food tourism is not the primary motivation for choosing a destination, it is increasingly occupying the secondary or partial motivation for tourists. Food tourism is a growing segment internationally, and many countries are focussing on promoting the quality and value of the local and regional food experiences, local culture and hospitality. Food tourism not only creates a positive impact on the food experience of tourists but also creates more employment opportunities in the country.
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Food Tourism: Drivers and Restraints
Factors such as a growing affluent population that wants to explore and experience new food and the multi-cultured consumers who want to learn unique recipes that are authentic of a particular destination have influenced the food tourism sector globally. Further, TV shows and media also play a vital role in promoting new destinations that offer quality and unique food. The technology facilitates travellers by providing critical information about the availability of different food items, reviews, reservations and discounts at various restaurants across the globe. Typically, the value chain of food tourism includes accommodations, attractions, beverage producers, culinary schools, festivals and events, restaurants, retailers, and tour operators. Food tourism offers potential opportunities for new businesses across the value chain. Food tourism has enormous growth potential as it is an added attraction for any tourist activity such as adventure, health, medical, winter, agro and cultural tours. Food tourism also has a positive impact on rural areas and helps in strengthening the economic situation of these areas. It also helps in increasing the employment in small businesses in these areas and decreasing the rural-to-urban migration ratio and economic leakages as well as promotes fair trade.
However, factors such as promoting the locally produced food internationally, identifying and targeting the source markets, obtaining information about tourism markets, creating a better network between food producers and hotels are the challenges faced by the food tourism sector. Further, incorporating innovations in the local food to offer to new cultural consumers is another challenge faced by culinary professionals.
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