Food tourism is a growing market. It is no wonder that this type of tourism is already part of the development strategies of many tourist destinations and attracts more entrepreneurs every day.
The interesting thing is that the relationship between tourism and gastronomy is far from being something new, what has changed is the way this relationship is perceived and experienced. Today, tourists are looking for more local and immersive experiences and that is how food tourism has reinvented itself.
By definition, when we talk about developing Food Tourism products or experiences, we refer to any activity that involves the appreciation and consumption of food and drinks that value the identity and ingredients of a place. In practice, this is what we call gastronomy experiences.
The challenge is how to develop activities that generate unique and memorable experiences
Despite being a growing market, If you want to stand out, it is important to develop activities and services that bring unique experiences. After all, we are talking about a plural sector, where different types of businesses and organizations can operate: restaurants, cooking schools, farms, hotels, tour operators, event producers, communities, villages, just to name a few. And plurality is synonymous with creativity.
Read more: How to set up cooking classes for tourists
To help you out, we have listed 5 key factors for the development of a successful food experience.
Most travellers look for experiences that are not part of their daily lives. These experiences gain value when they are authentic. Delivering a service or product that includes local ingredients and demonstrates the traditions and eating habits of its origin brings authenticity to the experience.
Appreciation of the gastronomic heritage
Every food is accompanied by a story. The food culture of any region is determined by the availability of its local ingredients and peoples migrations throughout history.
The appreciation of gastronomic heritages supports the development of responsible food tourism. Do research the history of your region and how it has influenced its cuisine 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 are looking for: an opportunity to interact with local people. Ensure that your activity or product offers that connection and cultural exchange.
Sustainability + Responsibility
In general, food travellers are conscious and value sustainability. Embrace the development of responsible tourism, create products and activities that value local producers and adopt processes that preserve the environment.
Be sure to include these items in your product’s value proposition and communication. In this way, in addition to your business generate a positive impact on society, it also contributes to make tourists more aware of responsible actions and to feel part of this transformation.
Food safety and hygiene
In food tourism, food security is one of the most important items. We are not talking about cultural aspects, but to understand hygiene standards and to include good practices in the preparation of products. To help you out, take a look at ISO 22000.
Okay, 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 these experiences you need to understand your customers’ interests and profiles. Go into more detail about your target audience and create personas for your business.