According to the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), more than 70 per cent of adventure travel itineraries now have an “experiential food focus”.
Travel agents and tour operators have reported that visits to wineries, breweries and distilleries, as well as cooking classes, are the most popular food tourism activities.
The study (based on responses from 281 companies representing 54 countries) also showed that one-third of global tourism expenditure is on eating and drinking, with travellers more frequently highlighting “local food experiences” as being their first- or second-most important reasons for choosing a particular destination.
For operators offering food tourism packages, which might include forest foraging or harvesting shellfish, for example, the average person spent US$472.
Meanwhile, a quarter of tour operators questioned said that they are making food “central” to the marketing of their trips.
ATTA director of research Christina Beckmann was reported as saying: “The survey responses and data points collected reflect the real significance of food tourism’s popularity in today’s adventure travel industry.”
She added: “A deeper understanding of this niche can provide a competitive advantage to companies tracking the trend.”
Here are ten foodie trips as chosen by ATTA
Join a family-run farm in the heart of Tuscany for a six-day cycling/epicurean tour dedicated to the “Slow Food” movement.
There are more than 1,130 types of beer brewed in Belgium. This tour offers access to more boutique breweries than any other European bicycle ride.
In the company of local hosts, you will discover the history and traditions of Georgia through its chefs and winemakers.
Cheese, wine and olive oil were introduced to Uruguay more than 250 years ago by immigrants from Europe. Today, established vineyards, wineries and local cheese producers open their doors to visitors from all over the world.
Join renowned South American photographer and nature documentary filmmaker Ossian Lindholm in this Travel Vision Photo Journeys exclusive, a Patagonian hiking and photography trip of Chiloe Island and Torres Del Paine National Park, while sampling food and wine a long the way. Nights are spent in EcoCamp Patagonia, in its sustainable, comfortable, geodesic Suite Domes.
This culinary tour of Peru takes in Lima, Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, and gives the chance to try both the traditional and Novoandina dishes.
Led by a passionate local foodie, you will eat your way through Moscow and St. Petersburg, exploring open-air markets, tasting Czarist and nouvelle cuisine restaurants, and experiencing Soviet cafés and vodka bars. Have cooking classes with famed chefs and dine in a smorgasbord of restaurants, family homes, and a country dacha, where home-cooked cuisine and traditional Russian culture come together.
Ride and Seek has introduced a Provencal tour of some of the most beautiful villages of France, with an emphasis on local food and wines.
Explore Bangkok and Chiang Mai, learning how to cook traditional Thai dishes and shopping at local markets for fresh ingredients. Visit a local coffee project, a traditional Hmong mountain village, and centuries-old temples.
Experience Mendoza, the heart of Argentinian wine country. Home to 80 per cent of the Argentine production, it has unique winery architecture, stunning landscapes and warm people.