With the growth of tourism, new models of experiences and activities of food tourism emerge every day. But what does it mean? In general, it means offering experiences that use food as a means of connecting with the local culture and the biodiversity of the destination. These are gastronomy experiences that open doors for new learning and stimulate businesses to empower local people and their intangible heritage.
We selected some activities of food tourism to support those who want to include gastronomic experiences in their tourism business, expand their business activities with gastronomic experiences, or just to clarify what food tourism is.
Examples of Food Tourism activities
Food Tour (food or beverage tour)
These are guided tours in gastronomic establishments, such as traditional restaurants, farmers and food markets, and local shops. Usually, the itineraries are thematic and immersive. Examples include a tour in traditional establishments of a specific neighbourhood, a tour centred on street food, tour to explore exotic foods, typical snacks, etc.
An excellent way for tourists to learn about the gastronomic culture of the destination, besides tasting local delicacies in an educative, safe and relaxed way.
One activity of food tourism which has attracted more and more tourists. Cooking classes, in addition to learning in practice, also creates a sociable and entertaining environment. The audience that participates in this type of activity varies from gastronomic enthusiasts, professional chefs to families and groups of friends who seek to learn something new while filling out their agendas during a trip.
This activity is famous mainly in the world of beverages, for example, wine tastings, beer and liquors. These are sessions where different samples of beverages and foods are presented and proven to know, recognize and evaluate their main characteristics.
Visits to Local Producers
From farming to food and beverage producers, many visitors are interested in learning more about the food production process. The visit can be guided and organized by the establishment itself or in some cases, specialized agencies are responsible for transmitting information about the production process. Examples are visits to productions of honey, cheese, wine, spices and fruit plantations, etc.
Follow Local Product Routes
One of the ways to promote visits to local producers is through the development of routes in regions recognized by a particular product. Routes can be explored independently by the traveller or via agency tours. They are usually based on a lot of historical and current information about the region and the farming community. Its development can be enhanced through the cooperation between the public and private sectors. Examples are coffee routes, wine, cheese, rice fields, etc.
Eating in Traditional Restaurants
Eating in local restaurants that offer typical food from a specific region and work for the valorization of its culture and biodiversity is also doing responsible food tourism. An excellent way to present to the tourist typical dishes with traditional and original recipes.
Gastronomic Events and Cultural Festivals
Nowadays, many cities have some festivals with typical food stalls. In addition to specific events of gastronomy, when a cultural festival offers a good offer of food and beverages to value and demonstrate some region or type of food is also considered food tourism.
Visit fairs and Local Markets
A classic example. Visiting local markets is an excellent opportunity to help travellers to experience local ingredients and learn more about local biodiversity, as well as to promote interaction with local producers and commuters. Visits can be made independently or guided. Many cooking classes begin with visits to local markets.
Workshops that teach Artisan Production
Educational programs – short or long duration – that teach tourists how to make local products in a handmade way. Perfect for people who like to replicate the learnings once they go back home.
Use Your Creativity
These are just a few examples of the many activities of food tourism that have attracted tourists, either independently or through agencies. The important thing is to be creative and not forget that food tourism is also about telling stories through the food, beverages and related traditions.
An experience that activates all the senses becomes a pleasant and memorable experience. If the experience tells a story that carries the local identity, it becomes unique and authentic. Use these attributes, value local communities, their history and surroundings. In this way, you will create transformative experiences for the traveller besides experiences with positive impacts for the destination.