With such a wide spectrum of activities, the benefits of food tourism go far beyond providing moments of entertainment and pleasing the palates of tourists. Food tourism is a path to meaningful experiences, which people usually do not participate in their daily life, but are willing to do so as they travel.
These experiences have a lasting positive effect because when returning home, most people seek to incorporate the learning from these experiences into their own lives. New types of experiences and learning through the uniqueness of regional gastronomic culture and the biodiversity of the destination have the potential to intensify the connection between people and food, besides generating a lasting and remarkable memory for the tourist.
But the benefits of food tourism do not concentrate only on tourists. A well-developed and structured experience can benefit a whole value chain and the environment.
Main benefits of Food Tourism
- Develops social and cultural awareness by connecting tourists to the destination at different levels of society;
- Better income distribution along different stages of a value chain;
- Enables inclusion and provides opportunities for minority groups;
- Values biodiversity and preserve cultural heritage;
- Contributes to a broader development of local communities, fostering entrepreneurship;
- Reduces negative impacts of massive tourism already seen in many urban centres by balancing the distribution of tourists across different regions and seasons.
These are just some of the benefits that food tourism can bring to travellers and destinations. However, the development of food tourism also faces many challenges. These challenges should be constantly discussed and evaluated under a destination tourism strategy to encourage responsible growth that sustainably maximizes these benefits.
In this context, we strongly believe that every destination should include food tourism in its tourism strategy. It shouldn’t be seen only as a complementary activity to tourism but an entire segment that influences travellers decisions when choosing destinations besides creating loyalty from pleasant and memorable experiences.