As of March 2017 the countries that travel the most are: Finland, United States, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, and France. However high thread count sheets and gourmet foods are no longer the keywords people are using when searching for their next destination. From Antarctica to remote parts of Newfoundland it is the unique experience tourists seek and are sharing through social media.
Millennials are fast becoming increasingly sophisticated travellers; less destination-oriented and more (authentic) experience-oriented. This growing population of travellers have become more interested in the various cuisines and cultures from countries all over the world, and are planning vacations specifically to incorporate culinary trips. They will share food and beverage themed photos across multiple social media platforms.
Tasting new dishes, encountering unusual ingredients, enjoying local hospitality means a shift from old style travel to eat ‘gourmet’ meals. There is a desire to experience street food, home-cooking and local food traditions.
The search for a unique experience takes travellers of all ages to winter locations; no longer put off by the cold or even a barren winter landscape. Iceland once considered bleak and having no culinary scene to speak of is among the countries people are vising in the dead of winter, they want to experience all it has to offer and try foods never before experienced.
Iceland is therefore on of many counties undergoing a culinary revolution as illustrated in An introduction to Icelandic cuisine, which begins with Shark ‘one of its oldest and most feared culinary traditions’.
Canada’s culinary scene is thankfully expanding past poutine as chefs are stretching their expertise to design meals incorporating local ingredients. The recently re-opened Deane House in Calgary is branding themselves by serving contemporary Canadian dishes. A Seat at Our Table organizes meals around local ingredients and the time-honored traditional of conversation that accompanies good food.
International visitors want to eat what is unique to Canada in the form of fish, fowl, game and sample the flavours of maple syrup and specialty honey. Culinary tourism also provides an opportunity to highlight regional beverages. Canada is also home to a wide array of craft beers as well as wines from BC and Nova Scotia where they are producing some excellent white and sparkling wines.
Tourism has been crucial to many areas undergoing economic difficulties, now even the rural areas have an opportunity to sustain themselves. Rural tourism allows a tie-in with local heritage and historical buildings. Croatia is one country marketing both its rural areas and “food all homemade and sourced locally – is never far away in quality rural tourism on the continent”.
For those who don’t like guided bus tours and overpriced restaurants where the only other guests are more tourists; culinary and rural tourism is an exciting new road to travel.
Jill Crossland is a business and marketing consultant who can take your business and social media to the next level.