understand the different profiles of food travellers

Food tourism activities have occupied an increasingly relevant role in the travellers’ agenda.

For a long time, food travel experiences concentrated mainly on restaurants guides, but this has changed. With the boom of experiential entertainment and the ease of access to information through social media, many travellers have been looking for more than a list of restaurants, and this group has expanded considerably.

Who are they and what are they looking for?

Read also: After all, what is Food Tourism?

The motivations of Food Travellers

These travellers look for experiences that go beyond the palate. They seek knowledge and entertainment through food and beverages activities. For a food traveller, the availability of these activities is a decisive factor in choosing a destination. However, even if gastronomy is not the main deciding factor, the interest in food tourism is still very relevant for most travellers. Thus, food tourism applies to all tourists who look for activities that explore local cuisine.

Do you know your “new” customer?

Food travellers have specific demands and interests. The first step to attract this kind of tourist is to know who they are.

Knowing their different profiles will help you to understand their preferences, what kind of information they’re interested in and which activities of food tourism tend to participate.

Defining your buyer persona is key for developing a good marketing plan and matching customer expectations.

The different profiles of Food Travellers

It is possible to target food travellers in different ways. we have listed some of the main groups that may be relevant to your business.


These travellers like to eat and drink well with exclusivity and quality. They do not necessarily cook but are quite critical on the palate and willing to pay a premium price for experiences in renowned establishments. It often doesn’t matter whether the cuisine is local or international as long as it provides a unique and differentiated experience.

Main activities:

  • Renowned restaurants;
  • Visits to beverage production (e.g. distilleries, wineries, breweries);
  • Tasting activities.

Gastronomic enthusiast

They’re foodies, people who like to talk about food, watch related programs, love trendy restaurants, and like to cook occasionally. The appreciation of food and beverages concentrates more on the palate, they like to try local food and venture themselves with exotic dishes. They know some local ingredients, but do not seek much information beyond that.

Main activities:

  • Trendy restaurants’
  • Cooking classes’
  • Guided tours to markets and gastronomic centres (food tour);
  • Gastronomic festivals.

Culturally engaged

These are people who identify themselves with the statement “food is culture”. They like to broaden their knowledge of a certain region through gastronomic experiences. They love to discover new ingredients, even better if introduced by a local person. When engaging in food tourism activities, they seek authenticity, knowledge, and connection with the local culture and community. They are willing to try new flavours and are interested in the history behind the food.

Main activities:

  • Local restaurants;
  • Cooking Classes;
  • Guided tours to markets and gastronomic centres;
  • Farm to table activities and visits to local producers;
  • Meals with local people;
  • Tasting activities;
  • Food Festivals.


Most of the adventurous are also engaged with the local culture, however, they have an additional motivation: to get off the touristic route. Most of them prefer independent activities. Food is not always the greatest motivation, but it is part of the adventure. As explorers, they do not get intimidated to try new flavours and local dishes.

Main activities:

  • Local restaurants;
  • Meals with local people;
  • Independent food tour based on local recommendations;
  • Visits to local producers and farms;
  • Food Festivals.

Social Entertainment

Travellers who use food tourism as entertainment and an opportunity to socialize. The main motivation is to fill the agenda with activities outside their routine. In general, they like to feel safe in relation to food, do not always try dishes with different and exotic flavours. They attend restaurants and activities with good reviews and are willing to pay a little extra to reduce risks.

Main activities:

  • Restaurants with good reviews
  • Cooking classes
  • Guided tours to markets and gastronomic centres
  • Tastings activities
  • Visits to beverage production (e.g. distilleries, wineries, breweries)

Attract your target audience

Do you recognize your customers within each of these profiles? What do you do to attract or meet the expectations of each food traveller?

Understanding your target audience is very important to develop effective marketing strategies. The interests of each person are different and your marketing material needs to talk with the customer profile you want to attract. In addition, you’ll quite often see that different profiles tend to participate in the same activity, for example on a food tour. It is important to recognise them quickly and be prepared to meet each expectation.

Do you reply to online reviews? See tips on how to deal with negative reviews.

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