TASTING NEW PLACES

How important is the search for new gastronomic experiences as part of the overall holiday experience today? While France, Italy and Spain are obvious “gastronomic destinations”, numerous other destinations are emerging with great gastronomic experiences. In this edition, one of Europe’s first Virtuoso travel advisors, Guido Graf – Travel Designer – DeluxeTargets – Switzerland – reports on the current state of play when it comes to gastronomy in tourism.

Travelling to a foreign country is about exploring a new culture, opening up one’s own horizons and relaxing outside of your comfort zone. In order to get a better impression of a culture, food is an essential factor. Travellers want to “feel” were they are, and food reveals a lot about a country.

More and more travellers are looking for extraordinary food experiences. In the highend luxury market, the trend is that luxury hotels host Michelin Star Restaurants. 20 years ago, besides breakfast, very few people ate in the hotels at which they were staying. However, hotels have realised that guests do have a desire for this and have since cooperated with the best chefs in their country to establish a new hotel restaurant feeling. A good example is the Four Seasons George V in Paris. This property has a total of 5 Michelin Stars spread over 3 restaurants, for both guests and locals to enjoy.

THE UPCOMING FOOD TREND IS TO EAT WITH LOCALS IN THEIR HOMES

Furthermore, tourists, even travellers with a smaller budget, are now avoiding the “Menu Touristico” since they are looking for food experiences rather than just a simple meal. Street food markets are also becoming more and more a trend. For instance, in Bangkok around Victory Monument, you will find traditional and delicious Thai food. Or in Marrakech, after sunset, the Djemaa el Fna Square transforms to a huge food market which, in the meantime, offers food of good quality. However, travellers need to know where to go, as some stalls serve very unique food which is a real challenge to try.

The upcoming food trend is to eat with locals in their homes. This is a private experience which gives travellers a deeper insight of a country’s culture. A couple years ago, tourists had to have good connections or a good travel advisor in order to get access. However, nowadays, Apps like “Eatwith” make this very simple and allow visitors to experience a homemade meal and discover the world like a local.