The Travel Corporation (TTC) is expanding its culinary travel offerings through a partnership with the "food experience platform" VizEat.
Beginning this summer, travelers booking through TTC’s brands, including Insight Vacations, Contiki, Trafalgar, and even the Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, and Evan Evans, will be able to connect with VizEat hosts, who are trained chefs and home cooks, on selected trips or as optional experiences.
"Culinary experiences have always been an essential part of our tour and guided vacations offerings but we have definitely seen an increase in requests from our guests about the dining options and a desire for authentic and local experiences. This partnership gives the opportunity to scale our much loved "By My Guest" experience that we have with Trafalgar across all of our TTC brands and introduce new destinations, especially in Europe as our top-selling destination," said Dan Christian, chief digital officer, The Travel Corporation.
The hosts will share their meals and insights into their cultures with TTC guests, who will also be able to sample regional specialties and traditional cuisine in unique locations. VizEat is about three years old, and offers meal-sharing experiences with 22,000 local hosts in 110 countries worldwide.
Similarly, through a partnership between Evans Evans and SideStory, TTC provides guests with experiences like private photography lesson in East London, shopping with a Stylist and Vegetarian Foodie Tours.
According to Booking.com, 75% of global travelers “would likely travel somewhere known for its great food and drink.” According to responses to a September 2016 survey of nearly 13,000 travelers across 13 markets in September 2016, 79% of travelers between the ages of 18 and 34 are considering travelling somewhere for its culinary reputation.
Eight percent of respondents said they had travelled in the last year “to fulfil their hobby of fine dining,” while 7% specifically are pursuing their passion for wine.
“Culinary travel is an ever-growing trend, with travelers planning trips centered on taste-inspired exploration and seeking to fully immerse themselves in the local culture, of which food plays a huge part,” said Pepijn Rijvers, Booking.com chief marketing officer.
Reviewing 118 million traveler comments on their site, Booking.com believes that Asian and South American flavors weigh heavily in the top global “foodie” destinations.
The top 10 cities globally are:
1. Hong Kong 2. Sao Paulo, Brazil 3. Tokyo, Japan 4. Athens, Greece 5. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 6. Melbourne, Australia 7. Bangkok, Thailand 8. Granada, Spain 9. Las Vegas, USA 10. Buenos Aires, Argentina
“It’s our responsibility to become resources and be known with our congresspeople so they know who we are. As travel companies, we are continuing to grow and all that helps both our local constituents and local economy. We don’t just want to go to them when there’s a problem, we want them to go now.”