Food is a universal passion. No matter where you’re from, food is representative of your local culture.

So it’s no wonder that lately culinary tourism has been increasing in popularity, with tour operators and destination marketing organisations adapting accordingly.

What is food tourism?

According to Skift’s report on culinary tourism, food tourism is 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.

The report revealed that 72% of all US leisure travelers can be classified as culinary travelers. This means that they participated in culinary activities – whether it was dining out for unique experiences, taking a cooking class, or attending a food festival.

Furthermore,

  • 51% of US leisure travelers travel to learn about and enjoy unique dining experiences.
  • 39 million US  leisure travelers choose a destination based on availability of culinary activities.
  • 35 million US leisure travelers seek out culinary activities after a destination is decided upon.

It makes sense that travelers place such an emphasis on food. After all, it’s an activity that’s engaged in multiple times per day.

How can culinary tour operators adapt?

Ask yourself how you can create a memorable foodie experience.

Some tips:

  • Educate your customers about local food traditions.
  • Teach them the art of the local cooking process.
  • Allow them to meet locals on the tour.
  • Give them a glimpse into a local’s every day life.
  • Support local growers and producers.

Your customers want to experience the local culture through food, whether they’re travelers or locals. The goal is to get them to feel like your offering is totally unique and they learned and experienced something new.

Here’s an example of a glowing review a local left for Taste of Thailand‘s food tours:

tripadvisor-review-tasteofthai

Whether you’re actively running wine tastings, farm tours and cooking classes, or you simply offer meals as an extra, there’s always room to incorporate local food into your tour or activity’s meals.

How can you market food tours?

If you do run culinary tours, then you need to get the word out about your business.

Some ways to do this:

Go to your local destination marketing company and ask to be included in their campaigns (eg. Australia’s Restaurant Australia campaign).

Leverage visual social media sites like Instagram and Pinterest. According to Skift, “as Instagram feeds are flooded with photos of food, they turn any user’s followers into a new market for that restaurant or destination.”

Take Bali Food Safari‘s Pinterest page as a good example:

balifoodsafari600

Package your products with like-minded suppliers. Make sure they share the same values as you in terms of supporting the local community. If you’re using Rezdy to distribute your tours and activities online, you can look for suppliers and agents to partner with through Rezdy Community.

For more marketing tips for tour operators, download our free ebook:





Tour Operator eBook




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Simon Lenoir, Founder and CEO of Rezdy Online Booking Software
About Simon Lenoir

Simon has over 15 years’ experience as an IT professional. He also has extensive experience in the travel industry from being an around-the-world traveller and managing a dive centre in Southeast Asia for over 3 years. Simon is now dedicated to providing the best online booking solution for tours and activities operators; he is the brains behind Rezdy.Outside office hours Simon is a true activity addict – mountain biking, sailing, swimming, beach volleyball – just to name a few. But most of all he loves diving in Australian waters.

4 Comments

  • Hello C.L. Farris,

    My name is Niek and I took over Christabelle’s tasks at Rezdy. People who are reading this post can now reply to you. Any valuable information we can share with tour operators is very much appreciated.
    P.s. Congratulation, you opened the first ever discussion on our Blog!

  • C.L. Farris says:

    Dear Ms. Tani,
    I am a Culinary Tour Director. I have Dual Certifications, so my primary interest IS Culinary Tourism!

    I am a Diploma Graduate of The Cordon Bleu School of Cookery in London, ENGLAND, as well as a Certified Tour Director from ITMI, (International Tour Management Institute), San Francisco, California.

    My hope is that by contacting you, we may be able to assist each other is making some new and advantageous connections! Food Tourism is very much on the rise, but…few Tour Directors have much, if any, comprehensive understanding of foods and wines?! In fact, many are intimidated by the immense culinary world? But, I am well-versed in many of the verbiages and etiquettes of cuisines.

    I am not only able to handle the details of a tour,… but I am also formally educated to know how something should appear, taste, be presented, and what wines would best pair with certain foods. My background includes commercial kitchen experience, catering, banquets, food & wine tastings, and teaching cooking courses; so I can appreciate the logistics, as well as the aesthetics.

    ***Tour Operators are expanding into the world of Food Tourism, only to discover that “not just ANY Tour Director will do?” A TD, who also has a culinary background, can develop a tour to be a far more enjoyable and educational one. Not to mention, providing additional credibility, and status for the Tour Operator?!

    My interest here is to alert such Tour Operators that some of us have anticipated the huge increase in Food Tourism. And…we have educated ourselves accordingly. Please feel free to reply directly, or pass this contact information along to those who are looking for a “ready-made” Culinary Tour Director.

    I thank you for this forum, and any assistance you may provide.

    • Hi there,
      Any ideas on good operators to work with? I’ve been running cooking courses in Normandy, France since 2006.
      I love what I do but don’t want to spend too much time on marketing.
      Merci,
      Sinéad

      • Hello Sinéad,

        It really depends where your customers in general come from. I don’t know if you have seen our channel manager yet? It basically helps you find resellers and agents. You can set your commission rate and your availability for your cooking classes. Agents can then automatically send customers to you. They do the marketing, and you do the cooking classes. We alraedy have several agents in our community that would fit your business. But you can build new relationships within our system as well. Simply invite them. Once you are connected everything is automated.
        We do have a free trial you can sign up to, I really think we are a good fit for your business.

        Cheers,
        Niek

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Culinary Tourism for Tour Operators: What It Is, How To Adapt

, , ,

Food is a universal passion. No matter where you’re from, food is representative of your local culture.

So it’s no wonder that lately culinary tourism has been increasing in popularity, with tour operators and destination marketing organisations adapting accordingly.

What is food tourism?

According to Skift’s report on culinary tourism, food tourism is 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.

The report revealed that 72% of all US leisure travelers can be classified as culinary travelers. This means that they participated in culinary activities – whether it was dining out for unique experiences, taking a cooking class, or attending a food festival.

Furthermore,

It makes sense that travelers place such an emphasis on food. After all, it’s an activity that’s engaged in multiple times per day.

How can culinary tour operators adapt?

Ask yourself how you can create a memorable foodie experience.

Some tips:

Your customers want to experience the local culture through food, whether they’re travelers or locals. The goal is to get them to feel like your offering is totally unique and they learned and experienced something new.

Here’s an example of a glowing review a local left for Taste of Thailand‘s food tours:

tripadvisor-review-tasteofthai

Whether you’re actively running wine tastings, farm tours and cooking classes, or you simply offer meals as an extra, there’s always room to incorporate local food into your tour or activity’s meals.

How can you market food tours?

If you do run culinary tours, then you need to get the word out about your business.

Some ways to do this:

Go to your local destination marketing company and ask to be included in their campaigns (eg. Australia’s Restaurant Australia campaign).

Leverage visual social media sites like Instagram and Pinterest. According to Skift, “as Instagram feeds are flooded with photos of food, they turn any user’s followers into a new market for that restaurant or destination.”

Take Bali Food Safari‘s Pinterest page as a good example:

balifoodsafari600

Package your products with like-minded suppliers. Make sure they share the same values as you in terms of supporting the local community. If you’re using Rezdy to distribute your tours and activities online, you can look for suppliers and agents to partner with through Rezdy Community.

For more marketing tips for tour operators, download our free ebook:





Tour Operator eBook