Studying culinary tourism


Culinary tourism is a new, fast growing industry and area of study, and offers great opportunities for the future.

What is culinary tourism? Culinary tourism is a relatively new industry. In fact, culinary tourism as an industry did not come into being until the year 2001. In its broadest sense, culinary tourism is defined as the pursuit of unique and memorable culinary experiences of all kinds - often while travelling, but one can also be a culinary tourist at home.

The phrase ‘unique and memorable’ is key to understanding culinary tourism. Many times people hear culinary tourism and they think it means restaurants that have earned five stars or better, or high-end wineries. That is not the case, as culinary tourism is not just what is pretentious or exclusive.

Culinary tourism includes a local pastry shop, an interesting bar on a nameless street that only locals know about, the pretzel vendor on the streets of New York City or a gelato vendor on a historic street in Italy. Higher end experiences fall into a subset of culinary tourism called ‘gourmet tourism’. In fact, wine tourism, beer tourism and spa cuisine are also subsets of culinary tourism.

Culinary tourism is not agritourism. While the seeds of cuisine are in agriculture, and agriculture and cuisine are inextricably linked, the two are very different.