In Food and Beverage, Trends

You can learn a lot about a destination by how it looks and how it makes you feel, but you can also tell a lot by how it tastes. And in 2024 the appetite for culinary travel is absolutely ravishing. People are traveling to locales not only to see the sights but to experience the culture, and that means the menus too.

Assortment of exotic and delicious ready to eat foods in dishes on a tray.

Hotels and destinations should be aware that food tourism is on the way up, waaaay up. Virtuoso reports that there has been a 70 percent increase in travelers booking trips that focus on food and wine. What are people craving? Authentic cuisine that embodies the true local flavors. They want to sample deep-fried pufferfish fugu no karaage in Osaka, Brunello di Montalcino wine in Italy and crawfish in New Orleans. If the locals are devouring it, culinary travelers want to take a bite too. Whet the appetite of potential guests by showcasing the ethnic cuisine and experiences available to them.

Globally speaking, Paris and Rome have always been sought-after destinations for epicurean experiences that are drenched in culture. In Paris, visitors can savor dishes from chic restaurants and bistros prepared by acclaimed chefs as well as stroll along the Seine or admire the Eiffel Tower, making the getaway even sweeter. And when in Rome, travelers do as the Romans do and dine, dine, dine. They sip espresso and bite into a maritozzo as they marvel at the Colosseum or the Trevi Fountain. They traverse the gardens in the Villa Borghese before an evening of wine and cacio e pepe. In Rome, the tastes are endless, the restaurants are exemplary, and the experiences will be treasured long after you finish that last impeccable gelato.

Old fashioned restaurant at Gare de Lyon in Paris

Here in the US, Indagare’s Food Travel Guide 2023: The 15 Best Cities for Everyone Who Loves Food, New Orleans was named the top domestic food-focused travel destination for the second year in a row followed by Charleston, South Carolina. A food lovers’ paradise, New Orleans is home to many James Beard-winning restaurants and, of course, an unstoppable Creole vibe vacationers love. Marti Gras, anyone? It also happens to be one of the most popular places to visit, not just in the US but in the world. Charleston follows suit with an outstanding combination of coastal seafood-inspired cuisine that reflects on the diverse culture of the region. Visitors dig into palate pleasers like she-crab soup, shrimp and grits and Lowcountry oyster roasts – all served with a dash of that irresistible southern charm.

Turns out New Jersey is a magnet not only for beachgoers but foodies as well. The Garden State is home to a multitude of award-winning and celebrity-chef-owned restaurants, from Gordon Ramsay’s Pub & Grill and Guy Fieri’s Chophouse to Angeline by Michael Symon and 1776 by David Burke. Newark’s famed Ironbound neighborhood is a major destination for multi-cultural cuisine noted for its top-rated Portuguese, Brazilian and Spanish restaurants. The Anthony Bourdain Food Trail is another reason foodies flock to Jersey. Offered by the New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism, this designated trail spotlights 10 New Jersey restaurants throughout the state featured on CNN’s Emmy Award-winning Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.

Paris, France - July 06, 2017: The charming restaurant Le Consulat on the Montmartre hill. Parisians and tourists enjoy food and drinks. Montmartre with traditional French cafes and art galleries is one of the most visited landmarks in Paris.

Also feeding the need for gastronomical joy are some places you may not expect including Tel Aviv, Israel, San Sebastian, Spain and Quebec, Canada – all of which are hailed by Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards for 2023 as some of the best cities for food in the world. And according to Food Network, underrated foodie destinations like Lagos, Nigeria and Chiang Mai, Thailand, are the perfect place to tour, taste and explore. Haven’t had the chance to visit these culinary gems yet? It may be time to start cooking up your next getaway. Bon voyage and bon appetite!

Hungry for more ways to show off your destination’s unique menus and localized character in a food-tourism society? Get a taste of proven, results-driven marketing, media and design with an eye on today’s trends at Dana Communications. Contact Lynn Kaniper at 609.466.9187 ext. 117 or today.

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