Gastronomical choices play an important role when people plan their travel. A Future Market Insights report says Indian culinary tourism market may reach US $19,127 million by 2032 at 20.4 per cent CAGR, constituting 6-9 per cent of the global culinary sector. The reason behind this is that visitors across the globe connect with Indian cuisine.
Erik Wolf, Executive Director & Founder, World Food Travel Association, says that 93 per cent of Indian tourists choose their destination by their cuisine choices. “It is tremendous, how food & beverage can turn away travellers from some worth-a-visit destination. Everybody loves to explore cuisines and I don’t see food tourism declining in the near future,” he says.
From spicy street food to fine dining, Indian food has something for everyone. Talking about Indian food in specific, Wolf said, “The delicacies are really mouth-watering and I cannot wait to visit India and try them all,” he says.
Huge demand for fusion foods
Fusion food is a new and exciting way of combining two dishes and creating it into tasty meals. If you are looking to entice younger segment or millennials, fusion cuisine is the best way to do so. A lot of Indians love Japanese Sushi, but they won’t mind trying other fusion of Sushi, provided the taste is good. It seems that all the fast-food chains and fine dine restaurants are also providing option of food combinations. “There is a huge demand of fusion food, new age food; people want to try and experiment each and every food according to their preferences,” says Pradippta Biiswaas, VP Operations, Radisson Jaipur City Center.
Healthy over junk-food trending
In the upcoming years, travellers will be eating consciously. They will choose sustainable options. On the other hand, menus will have a plenty of plant based and vegan products. “World is revolving around healthy and nutritious food. They want a burst of flavours and spices mixed together,” says Biiswaas.
Local cuisines in demand
Despite hotels doing their best to offer guests a variety and sustainable food options, most people go out and eat in local restaurants. Biiswaas holds high prices of buffet, à la carte in hotels and easy accessibility of restaurants responsible factors for people preferring local restaurants.
Culinary tourism to boost tourism
Gastro-tourism is the most effective way of boosting any kind of tourism and hospitality industry. Chander K Baljee, Chairman & MD, Royal Orchid & Regenta Hotels, says, “India’s diverse cuisines entice tourists seeking authentic flavours and regional cuisines. Food festivals and tours encourage visitors to explore different places based on food.” On being asked how will gastro-tourism boost outbound tourism, he says, “A strong food sector instils pride in culinary heritage, encouraging exploration of local flavours abroad.”
The experts agreed on one fact and that food tourism is not fading away anytime soon.