Food has been one of the main and vital pillars of life since the earliest days of human life, but now this delicious aspect of life has become a strategic element that can turn down economies upside and replace culture and tradition. And of course appear as a strong diplomat on the world stage. Importance of food and beverage in tourism industry has led to dedication of a branch of lucrative tourism industry to food today.
Man today has come to the conclusion that foods, especially local and indigenous foods, should not be underestimated at all and the food system, as a part of the cultural heritage of the society, has several capacities to be considered in the field of tourism. In fact, the food system can be considered as an element of the cultural heritage of the tribes, because it carries indigenous knowledge, taste, habit, social relations, and various other preferences and dimensions that it has borrowed from the past.
Importance of food and beverage in tourism industry is such that food can play an important role in choosing tourist destinations. The climatic, environmental, cultural and historical conditions of a region play an important role in creating an important tourist destination. Also, this type of tourism is placed next to the topics related to cultural tourism to the extent that even some local food becomes the human and cultural heritage of a region.
What is food tourism?
Food tourism refers to trips in which local food plays an important role. The World Food Travel Association (WFTA) defines culinary tourism as: the pursuit and enjoyment of unique and memorable experiences and beverages that are strategically branded for most food tourism destinations.
Most food tourists are looking for foods that are familiar with the culture of the place where they have traveled, instead of the usual food. It is the connection between food tourism and cultural tourism that has its own adventure. Local food gives travelers a direct connection to where they have traveled. They experience the local heritage, the culture of the area through food and drink. Such activities can range from tasting local food and drinks to other adventurous experiences.
The importance of food and beverage in tourism industry has led countries to look for ways to attract food tourism.
Examples of food truism activities:
-Cooking with locals.
-Eating at local eco-lodges, traditional restaurants or street food.
– Organizing Festivals of tasting cheese, various drinks and so on.
-Holding food and beverage tours on sidewalks.
-Visiting farms, gardens, food markets and so on.
Food tourism is of all ages; but most of them are in the age group of 30 to 60 years. Experience and learning about local food is their main goal in travel, so this group knows the social status of food and drink.
They like to interact with locals through culinary activities and are interested in the authentic local food culture, and have a strong interest in food culture and a strong desire to travel. These tourists spend more than a third of their money or even up to 50% of it on food and drink.
The importance of food and beverage in tourism industry is so that now most tourists, along with culture and nature, are fascinated by food culture around the world. And this development in the tourism industry has generated billions of dollars in revenue. Food easily crosses borders and exports its culture. For example, pizza is no longer limited to Italy, it even has its fans even in some remote places, or the Mediterranean diet has become so popular that you can find Mediterranean food in almost all restaurants in the world.
You may find desert, forest, mountains, monuments or any other attraction in another corner of the world, but the food is unique. The unique taste and aroma of any food is an exciting experience in itself, and you can never re-experience the taste of food that is native to a particular country, beyond its borders. And this matter shows the Importance of food and beverage in tourism industry. These original, different characteristics and the attraction of different experiences can provide favorable grounds for the development of food tourism.