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In a world where highlighting differences is the norm, there remains through the years a true constant that not only transcends societal diversities, but celebrates them – food. Local cuisine from all corners of the globe immediately brings to mind not only the dish itself, but the people and culture from which it originated. Whether you’re curing a sweet tooth with a cup of Italian gelato, devouring sashimi in its purest form while in Japan, or grabbing a crepe to-go in the midst of navigating bustling Parisian streets, it is difficult to picture one without the other. Through the years, as food has steadily developed a symbolic connotation, acting as a form of cultural representation, adventure tour operators all over the world have taken note. In turn, food tourism has deliciously snuck its way into our itineraries, creating a unique and savory experience that is true to its destination.
“Tour operators are beginning to better understand that food is one of the last non-digitized experiences that travelers must be physically present for to digest and take in,” said Dan Peltier, Skift reporter, during his own food tourism analysis earlier this year. In fact, according to ATTA’s recent report titled “Taste the Adventure: Exploring the Intersection of Food Experiences and Adventure Travel,” half of the respondents stated that one of the primary reasons they started to incorporate food experiences into their adventure itineraries is the fact that it provides context and understanding to a place and culture, a perspective that could only be gained through culinary participation. Additional reasons that were cited in the report were food’s tendency to evoke memory of an experience as well as its undeniable ability to connect people, despite language or cultural barriers.
In short, food tourism is on the rise and is showing no signs of slowing down.
Because of the dynamic and compelling nature of food, the ATTA team started to become curious about our own members’ experiences in the food tourism realm. Where has food most deeply impacted their nomadic lives? we asked ourselves. What is the most obscure dish that they have tried to date? Do they offer food itineraries through their own operations? To curb our inquisitive appetites, we asked our industry followers to post their favorite foodie photo (hey, we all take them!) on Instagram last month through our #TasteTheAdventure photo contest. The results are in, and the entries have created a collage of eclectic eats that is sure to inspire even the pickiest of eaters. The collection of photos will only be posted for a limited time as we continue to celebrate Food Tourism here at ATTA through the month of March. Navigate to our contest Instagram account (@ATTA_TasteTheAdventure) and let us know which photos strike your fancy the most with a quick double tap or ‘Like.’ The winner of the contest will receive a complimentary ticket to AdventureELEVATE to be held June 6-7 in Saguenay, Québec where keynote speakers like food and travel writer, Chris Johns, and Off the Table creator, Jim Kane, will explore food tourism trends and examine the power of the movement at a local level as a driving economic force.
Get inspired, and vote for your favorite food photo today while also navigating to ATTA’s official Instagram account (@AdventureTweets) to keep up to date with ongoing adventures around the world.
Though food tourism is a relatively new trend in comparison to some of its adventure counterparts, it is clear that its impact on the industry is significant, and in turn, is becoming more and more difficult for tour operators to ignore. Despite its indigenous or sometimes complex heritage, food in its simplest form has proven to bring people together time and time again, universally binding us by the spoonful.