Food Tourism is a relatively new term and there are many definitions to describe what it is. In addition, there are many professionals and organizations that also use the terms Culinary Tourism and Gastronomy Tourism for the same purpose.
At Food’n Road, we use the term food tourism in a comprehensive way and define Food Tourism, also Gastronomy Tourism and Culinary Tourism, as activities that provide experiences of consumption and appreciation of food and beverages, presented in such a way that value the history, the culture and the environment of a particular region.
Explore the cuisine beyond the plate
Exploring different cuisines have always been associated with moments of leisure and travel, but the concept of food tourism has evolved to encompass activities beyond the plate. These are touristic and entertainment activities that, in addition to gastronomy, value the relationship between food and society as a pillar of regional identity and cultural heritage.
This change is great because it creates the possibility for people to approach food at different levels of the value chain and learn directly from the people who work with it. In this way, it is possible to achieve economic development in different layers of society and provide a more personal and authentic experience to the traveller.
Activities of Food Tourism
Food tourism is much more than a list of restaurants and is not only related to high-cost activities with refined gourmet perception. It is also not focused only on agritourism. Nor does it require major movements. It is related to all activities that use food as a means of connection between people, places and time.
Examples of activities considered as Food Tourism:
- Take a street food tour;
- Tasting of local dishes and beverages;
- Follow product routes of a particular region (e.g. Travel on the Brazilian coffee route);
- Eat at traditional restaurants;
- Share meals with local people;
- Participate in gastronomic events and festivals;
- Visit local markets;
- Learn about the production of food by visiting farms and artisan producers;
- Participate in cooking classes;
- Visit exhibitions that explain the history of local cuisine;
- Gastronomic expeditions with chefs and specialists.
The list is huge and there are several models of related activities. It is a creative market because it encompasses different representatives of the food, beverage and hospitality industry. We are talking about: restaurants, farms, markets, artisan producers, hotels and hostels, street food vendors, chefs, galleries and everything that’s related.
Read More: Activities of Food Tourism
What are the benefits and why we support!
Food tourism with a focus on cultural immersion is a strong ally for economic and social development for the locality, besides being unique and memorable for the traveller.
This type of tourism, when done in the right way, built together with the local community and respecting its identity, is a tool for the change of two scenarios: the negative impacts of tourism and the detachment between people and real food.
Tourism is not always associated with sustainable development, especially when attracting tourists who are not aware of the consequences of their demands and behaviour in the local community. The scenery is quite different when we are talking about a tourist who seeks to understand and relate in a more personal and respectful way to the local culture and to the environment.
To shape (and attract!) these tourists, one needs to connect them with the destination and is there a better way to connect than through the food?
At Food’n Road, we want to be agents of change, engage people to reflect about food beyond the plate and contribute to the development of responsible tourism. We believe that every reflection starts with reliable information and is intensified with good experiences. Thus, food tourism is an excellent tool to initiate this change.