By F. Martin
TTC Service.- Popularity of a destination in terms of food and drinks is a factor that helps tourists around the world to decide where to go on holiday.
A GlobalData consumer survey reveals that 27.6% of consumers analyze the gastronomic popularity of destinations before deciding whether or not to travel to those places.
“Globalization, coupled with a shift in cultural and economic influence from West to East and the boom in travel flows around the world, is resulting in consumers becoming increasingly familiar with and enthusiastic about different food cultures” according to the survey.
Another discovery of the survey is that some of the key trends redefining culinary tourism in recent years are the rise of street food and food markets, cooking lessons with locals and gastronomy tours with locals or experts. Yet, a new trend becoming increasingly influential within food tourism is home cooking and meal sharing.
“TV programs about chefs, cooking, traveling and cooking competitions, have all had a positive impact on the growing public passion for gastronomy, and a transformative effect on their food preferences, especially when traveling”, added the Globaldata study.
In the Caribbean experts estimates that heritage and culture influences diversity of cuisine available.
The islands offer diverse recipes of gastronomy such as Chinese, Indian, Syrian/Lebanese, African, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Dutch.
Small islands like Aruba, Jamaica, and Martinique use their national cuisines to promote their destinations.
Experts said that Martinique appears to use its local cuisine most aggressively, using a combination of locally prepared foods, cocktails, rum, fruits, and vegetables to visually portray this aspect of the country’s heritage.
Jamaica uses mainly fruit and vegetable imagery. The study findings suggest a need for the Caribbean island destinations to develop expertise in culinary tourism, followed by promotion through brochures, catalogs, websites, and other marketing materials.
The opinion of Konstantina Boutsioukou, Consumer Travel Analyst at GlobalData is that given that people traveling abroad and in particular millennials, are increasingly seeking authentic and transformative travel experiences, local cuisine provides them with a unique lens through which they can better understand the history, people and the culture of the destinations they visit.
Some countries in the area, including Cuba, are recovering their national cuisine as part of their tourism industry.
The Cuba, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico cuisines are a blend of Native American food, Spanish, African, and Caribbean cuisines.
Some Cuban, Dominican an d Puertorrrican recipes share spices and techniques with Spanish and African cooking, with some Caribbean influence in spice and flavor.
This results in a blend of the several different cultural influences, with strong similarities with the cuisine of the neighboring of Cuba, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.
A small but noteworthy Chinese influence can also be accounted for, mainly in the Havana area. There is also some Italian influence.