As we start a new year, we are usually inundated with the opinions of experts in the travel industry as they consider some of the biggest trends during the next 12 months. Travel trends of 2014 included the rise of river and expedition cruises, as well as moves away from traditional hotel keys and towards environmentally friendly travel. But what are we expecting to happen in 2015?
Well, along with cheaper flights (thanks to the more affordable price of fuel) and more flights along new routes, it is food tourism that is tipped to really take off this year. Food tourism can be defined as travelling the world (or places closer to home) with eating and drinking as your primary goal. Each region, country and even city has its own unique flavour, and you could say that it is a food tourist’s ambition to experience them all. From bonafide Florentine steak on the Piazza Della Signoria in Florence to a traditional breakfast of beignets in New Orleans; there are so many reasons to see the world from this tasty perspective.
And we’re not just talking about any food. Food tourism particularly favours local and sustainable products which are guaranteed to give any tourist an authentic taste of wherever they are on the planet. There is a need to preserve these values that make each and every country distinctive, whilst always striving to bring things into the modern era wherever possible.
Euro-toques, an organisation featuring members from 16 different European countries, have set about ensuring the preservation of traditional techniques, flavours and dishes across the continent. There are over 3500 chefs who are represented by this movement, who pledge to not only help visitors to their country eat well but also offer advice regarding the local culinary customs and products. Euro-toques are also currently working on a project that will eventually result in the mapping of Spain’s regional cuisines in a form of culinary encyclopaedia.
Another way in which local food is being preserved is by UNESCO. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, most famous for highlighting and preserving physical sites of cultural interest, also has a list dedicated to the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This archive includes abstract things such as China’s Peking Opera, Brazil’s Capoeira dancing, and Ebru, the Turkish art of marbling – to name just a few of the most recent additions. In a bid to preserve its notion, the Mediterranean cuisine of Spain, Italy, Greece and Morocco was recognised in 2010.
A major reason why food tourism is expected to be a big hit this year is the proliferation of mobile applications which make it easier than ever before for travellers to have an authentic food experience in a foreign country. Services such as Bookalokal, EatWith, Cookening and Meal Sharing all offer you the chance to search by location and then dine out on local fare. Many of these opportunities will involve eating home-cooked meals inside the home of your host; you cannot get more authentic than that.
With mobile phone providers continuing to lower data charges for those of us who like to us our mobiles abroad, and initiatives like those mentioned above moving more into the mainstream; it is no surprise that people who are ‘in the know’ within the travel industry are predicting big things for food tourism in 2015.
If you are always on the lookout for your next tasty food adventure or you simply love to try new and wonderful things whilst on holiday, Fred can help you plan your next trip. Our tailor-made deals mean that you can travel where and how you like and then eat like a local when you get there.