Food tourism is a rising market. It is in the development strategies of many destinations and attracts each day more and more entrepreneurs to the sector. The interesting thing is that the relationship between tourism and gastronomy is not new, but the way this relationship is perceived has changed. Today, the traveller seeks more and more experiences and sense of location, and that is how food tourism has reinvented itself. By definition, when we talk about developing food tourism products, we refer to any activity involving the appreciation and consumption of food and beverages. That means gastronomic experiences!
The challenge is how to develop food tourism products that bring unique and memorable experiences
If you want to undertake in this segment, it is important to understand that despite being a growing market, you need to develop activities and services that bring unique and memorable experiences in order to stand out. After all, we are talking about a plural sector, where different types of businesses and organizations can act: restaurants, cooking schools, farms, hotels, tour operators, event producers, communities, villages, just to name a few. And plurality is synonymous with creativity.
To help you stand out in the industry, we have listed 5 key factors for the development of a successful food tourism product.
Most travellers look for experiences that are not part of their daily lives. These experiences gain value when they are authentic. When delivering a service or product that includes local ingredients and demonstrates the customs and eating habits of the people, it brings authenticity to the experience.
Appreciation of the gastronomic heritage
All food is accompanied by a story. The food culture of any region is determined by the availability of its local ingredients and migrations throughout history. The gastronomic heritage is unique. Valuing it supports the development of responsible and differentiated food tourism. Research the history of your region and how it has influenced the food and cooking habits. Make sure it is aligned with your product and work the communication in a consistent and coherent manner.
Interaction with local people
The bond with food is a universal language. Regardless of where you came from, the food is definitely part of your story. We can say that food is a common language and food tourism is a tool capable of connecting people. This is a unique opportunity for travellers. This is exactly what many seek: an opportunity to interact with local people. Ensure that your activity or product offers this opportunity.
Sustainability + Accountability
Overall, a food traveller is conscious and values sustainability. Help to develop responsible food tourism, create products and activities that value local producers and processes that preserve the environment. If you really incorporate these aspects, be sure to include them in the value proposition and the communication of your product. In this way, in addition to a positive impact on society, it also contributes for tourists to gain more awareness of cultural and environmental preservation and make them feel part of this transformation.
Food Safety and hygiene
When offering a service or product in the market it is important to understand who you are offering the experience to. Understand the habits and hygiene standards of different regions and customers. In food tourism, food security is one of the most important items. It is not necessary to change cultural aspects, but it is important to understand the differences in hygiene standards and to include good practices in the product and activity you may offer. To help you out, take a look at ISO 22000.
Now you already know some of the main differentiating factors that your product should have
The products and activities of food tourism are based on experiences. To design the experiences you need to understand the interests and profiles of your customers. Now it’s time to develop your product!