Culinary Tourism Trends/Food Travel

A look Into Food Tourism

Food is an integral part of our society; the ingredients and the way it’s made reflect cultures, traditions, and people from all over the world. Thus, it’s no surprise that gastronomy tourism has been rapidly rising in recent years. In fact, according to a World Food Travel Association Survey:

  • 81% of respondents “learn about food and drink when they visit a destination.”

  • 81% of respondents “believe eating and drinking help in understanding the local culture.”

  • 59% of respondents believe “food and beverage is more important when they travel than it was five years ago.”

People crave an authentic and human experience when they travel. Not only does it allow them to step outside their comfort zone, but it’s an opportunity to truly connect with the heart and soul of the country and/or region. Vallarta Adventures understands the significance of illuminating the foods of local communities. Read on about culinary tourism trends below to help yourself craft a fulfilling travel experience on your next adventure.

Gastronomic Experiences: Exploring Culture Through Taste

Sayulita tacos being cut into tortillas

A large component of tourism today is immersing yourself in the local scene and culture—having a home-cooked meal or visiting a local eatery in a remote area rather than a commercial zone driven by tourism. It’s not necessarily about what to eat, but how and where to eat. These demands have encouraged people to engage differently with food. 

  1. Sustainability

Many food travel experts foster local connections in order to establish an intimate setting around their food. This entails learning about how their food is grown, the development of surrounding communities, and the kinds of tools and resources they incorporate into their farming. 

People now look beyond touristy areas, wanting to go to lesser-known locations. As travelers look for hyperlocal ingredients, it increases the demand to learn about and incorporate sustainable practices on both the local and traveler side. Many tourism organizations also provide accommodation at the homes of local families to further enhance the opportunities for intimate gastronomic experiences.

Woman eating Mexican Elotes

  1. Cooking Classes

Travelers don’t simply want to be served food—they want to make it. Getting hands-on experience by learning how to make local cuisines is part of an authentic and enjoyable traveling experience. It’s a great opportunity to foster local connections and immerse yourself in their traditions. 

Whether it’s learning how to cook black mole in pueblitos by the Sierra Madre Mountains or curry dishes in the country hills of Sri Lanka, these experiences mold both locals and tourists alike. These gastronomic experiences allow locals to see the positive impacts tourism can have on their community by sharing traditions with visitors. And they allow tourists to try new flavors in an intimate setting and take something special back home to share. 

Family learning how to cook different food.

  1. Food Markets and Events

Food travel takes you on an exciting expedition through remote areas of a region. Travelers like to take advantage of local markets, or unique food events to meet various local vendors and try distinctive and undiscovered foods. Moreover, they provide a communal space where both visitors and locals hang out together in a vibrant atmosphere filled with other cultural aspects such as art, music, and games. These local markets and events are a great option to avoid tourist traps which involve long lines and a lot of money. 

Friends shopping in a fresh market

  1. Food Tours

The most renowned travel organizations provide food tours where they take you through town and markets to try different flavors and dishes, such as tacos al pastor and local craft beer in Sayulita. Exploring an off-beaten path unveils hidden gems that bring you a special and unforgettable experience.

Friends enjoying traditional tacos

Seeing new foreign lands is one thing, but getting to taste the eclectic flavors and spices of a region brings a whole new meaning and experience to travel. The aesthetics and preparation behind food entail a lot of cultural significance that brings people together. Thus, these culinary tourism trends have shifted what it means to travel today. 

Learn More

Learn more about how you can enhance your Puerto Vallarta travels by booking a tour with Vallarta Adventures. With quality and safe tour guides and activities, our team can help you plan a genuine experience for yourself and your loved ones. 


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