CULINARY TRAVEL:“Travel to learn about or enjoy unique and memorable eating and drinking experiences –not necessarily just those that are exclusive or highly acclaimed, but all memorable eating and drinking experiences.”- TIA Culinary Travelers Profile 2006
Wine & Food Tourism (2) WINE TOURISM / CULINARY TOURISM - MEANING & CONTEXT:As a basic necessity of life (like lodging), food in the form of food tourism automatically represents a universal activity when traveling. Whereas winetourism and agri-tourism - when not simply serving as just two more noteworthy destination experience options for visitors - require more of a deliberate (or special) interest. This can also hold true for ‘culinary tourism’, essentially a specialist subset of food tourism (when more closely & accurately defined). As is evident, for example, by the known interest of its most dedicated enthusiasts (sometimes self described as ‘foodies’) in specifically experiencing the regional cuisines & wines of France, Spain and Italy ... or those of Asia, Mexico, Morocco and other highly esteemed food cultures. But, as these examples suggest, food tourism as a whole logically forms a subset of cultural tourism - being a key part of experiencing the ‘culture of a place’. At its best, food (and culinary) tourism is also inherently linked to fresh, local/seasonal produce ... and thus agri-tourism. In fact, many chefs and a rapidly growing number of farmers markets (in western societies) are newly championing, sourcing and supplying local & regional farm products. Also high quality, artisan foods crafted from that produce. All part of a new outlook (see Slow Food Movement) that is additionally helping small producers survive in an era of predominantly corporate driven, mass production. Rural, agri-tourism related experiences, now offered beyond the popular local farmers market, include - buying products directly from ‘farm gate’ stands; ‘pick your own’ produce; tours, designated & interpreted touring routes & trails; farm stays; regional cooking classes; rustic & scenic dining and more. Wine tourism ... while inherently linked to food/culinary tourism and also forming part of agri-tourism ... because of its own special interest power, cansomewhat stand alone as a travel motivator, driver and market force.