By Blake Ng — 22 Feb 2021
Food tourism is a rewarding way to share exciting cuisines, flavours and ingredients with a wide range of people – but as with many industries, COVID-19’s had its impact on the way people book and enjoy these experiences. Food tour operators have been doing a stellar job of adapting to these ever-changing circumstances. So how have food tours and cooking classes been evolving?
With social distancing, flight restrictions and lockdowns in place at various levels around the world, it’s only natural that travel and tourism experiences have quickly localised. There’s also been a societal shift towards low food miles, supporting local food suppliers and industries. With these two aspects in mind, tours or experiences that are centred around home-grown food are proving really popular. One such example is the mystery-solving picnic experience being embraced in Australia and New Zealand: where guests are given clues leading them to local producers so they can collect gourmet items for their picnic.
Lots of people worldwide are choosing to interact only within their COVID ‘bubbles’. These are household or social groups that allow for socialisation and support while minimising infection risks from other people. These close-knit friend and family groups are looking for fun but low-contact experiences, and some food tourism operators have been pivoting the way they provide their tours and activities. For example, a brewery tour with a 20 person limit might provide the option to book out an exclusive tour for just 5 or 8 guests through their activity booking system.
As the world awaits vaccine rollouts, there are still many people in various stages of lockdown as well as vulnerable people who are minimising social contact. This provides the chance for food tourism providers to bring those food experiences from the outside in. For example, some cooking class providers are offering virtual experiences where guests can cook from their own homes. Another opportunity is delivering at-home meal or cocktail-making packages that showcase local produce. These at-home experiences are all about providing fun social connection in a COVID-safe way, either delivering ingredients to the guest’s home or providing a shopping list so they can gather ingredients themselves.
Rezdy’s online booking software for tour operators streamlines your booking experience and makes it easy to sell tours online by adding a professional booking platform to your website. With built-in tools for inventory management, sales activity, booking calendar and guest information, this online tour booking software is flexible enough to keep up with any business changes. Register today for your free 21-day trial and check it out for yourself!