American leisure travelers often enjoy cooking classes and other food tourism activities. // © 2015 iStock
Food tourism is an increasingly important aspect of experiential travel, according to a recent report from the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) entitled “Taste the Adventure: Exploring the Intersection of Food Experiences and Adventure Travel.”
The report states that food tourism has become a major consideration in the way people travel. It cites the “2013 American Culinary Traveler Study,” which notes that almost one-third of American leisure travelers (30 percent) deliberately chose destinations based on the availability of activities related to local food and drink; more than half (51 percent) travel to learn about or enjoy unique and memorable eating and drinking experiences; and nearly two-thirds (61 percent) said they were at least interested in taking a trip to a destination within the U.S. to engage in culinary activities within the following year.
A survey of travel agents, tour operators and other adventure suppliers conducted as part of the ATTA report found that two activities prove to be universally popular: cooking classes and visits to local wineries, breweries or distilleries. More than 90 percent of the travel agents surveyed said they receive requests for both these activities from clients. The next most commonly requested activity was “sampling street food,” with more than 60 percent of travel agents reporting interest from their clientele.