The report ranks gastronomy as the third reason tourists decide to visit a destination, following culture and nature. Right behind this trio are health and shopping.
Linking gastronomy and tourism also provides a platform for the promotion of cultures through a region's cuisine, which assists in destination branding — and helps to promote sustainable tourism by preserving valuable cultural heritage, nurturing pride among communities, and enhancing intercultural understanding. Through a visit to a food festival, cooking class or farm-to-table dining experience, tourists garner a better sense of local values and traditions.
When you come across a client who expresses an interest in gastronomic adventures, consider sharing any of these trips:
1. Ride off the beach and into Rio de Janeiro in time for the iconic Carnival on TDA Global Cycling’s new month-long, 1,700-mile tour down northeast Brazil’s stunning, sun-drenched coast. Along the way, experience celebrations in other towns; eat fresh fish or feijoada, the national dish of Brazil; and sip refreshing caipirinha cocktails.
2. Rent a luxurious cabin at Montana’s exclusive Moonlight Basin community for ski-in, ski-out access to the neighboring Big Sky Resort. Enjoy private, guided skiing 4,000-vertical feet down the famed North Summit Snowfield and terrain (which is not open to the public) to a toast at The Reserve Clubhouse.
3. At the 25,000-acre Red Reflet Ranch in Ten Sleep, Wyoming, play cowboy or cowgirl during the day, riding horses and working cattle — and then sit down to a gourmet meal made of beef from the ranch’s butcher shop and produce from the organic greenhouse and gardens.
4. On a cycling tour with Tourissimo, steep in the sights, scents and flavors of western Sicily while riding alongside award-winning celebrity chefs, Traci Des Jardins and Mary Sue Milliken. Off their bikes, Des Jardins and Milliken source local ingredients and join local chefs in preparing two dinners.
5. Savor traditional and modern flavors of Peru, and explore the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, on a culinary tour with Adventure Life. While there, go into the kitchen for a cooking demonstration with Cusco’s finest chefs, and join a community preparing traditional Pachamanca in an earthen oven lined with hot stones.
6. Cruise the Douro River through Portugal with Riviera River Cruises and pass stunning cliffs and terraced vineyards; tour a Port wine cellar; and experience dinner at a typical Portuguese quinta. An excursion to Salamanca, Spain, includes lunch with a traditional flamenco show.
7. Poland Culinary Vacations takes a slow-vacation approach to its small group programs (of no more than 15 participants) featuring hands-on demonstrations side-by-side with local chefs in big-city kitchens in acclaimed restaurants, and on its rural routes to small Polish villages in the countryside.
8. A Ride & Seek cycling tour of Puglia highlights a region of southern Italy known for its olives, durum wheat, and sheep’s milk cheeses. Ride through ancient olive groves; taste wonderful homemade pasta dishes; and watch as mozzarella is made the traditional way – a tasting is obligatory.
9. On a tour of Moscow and St. Petersburg with MIR Corporation, experience Russian cuisine beyond borscht and blini. Explore enduring open-air markets and their new organic relatives; sample czarist and nouvelle cuisine; visit retro Soviet cafes and modern vodka bars; and meet famed chefs and dine in a country dacha.
10. La RosaWorks Sicily Tours & Travel has already scheduled its Beating Heart of Sicily Tour for May of 2018. Emphasizing culture, wine and food — dining on local specialties in farmhouses and palazzos, wineries and a Byzantine Chapel — clients will learn, experience and maybe even return to Sicily many times over.
This article first appeared in Travel Market Report; Photo: Shutterstock.com