Travel Advisors Stay Fresh on Trends as Demand Grows for Culinary Experiences
Food has always been a major part of travel, but a growing demand for authenticity and unique experiences is broadening the scope of culinary travel, prompting travel advisors and tour organizers to search for new and different food-focused destinations and activities.
Culinary travel is no longer just about cooking classes, wine tastings, or dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant. The audience for more intensive food-related experiences is growing as well. It’s no longer the primary domain of chefs and others in the food and wine industry.
“When we first started people didn’t really think of culinary travel, they thought of cooking school travel,” said Tamar Lowell, CEO of Access Culinary Trips, a travel planning service that focuses solely on culinary trips.
The company, which was founded in 2001 as an adventure tour operator, decided to switch its focus to culinary travel in 2015 due to demand from clients who wanted something beyond the cooking classes that were often a part of their initial trip offerings.
“The notion of traveling with food as the primary focus is definitely catching on and is a new category,” Lowell said. “Some travel advisors and consumers aren’t really aware of it yet, but what it really is is for people who want to experience a culture through a lens. In our case, it’s through food.”