Indian travellers these days are concentrating more on food while choosing a travel destination.
People have their own reasons for travelling and choose locations accordingly. While some select destinations as they want to explore new places, there are others who randomly choose locations because they need a break. However, there are a majority number of travellers who select their travel destination based on its food.
According to Booking.com’s latest survey finding from its global research ‘Taste of Travel, as many as 67 pc of Indian travellers pick their travel destination based on the cuisine and food choices it offers. The finding also says that 49 pc Indian travellers are planning to take a dedicated food tourism trip in 2018.
“A very common question we travel agents come across is whether the travellers would get an opportunity to try the local cuisines of the place during their vacation. Food is something that connects people from all parts of the world and many queries come our way asking about the various dishes the place offers and how it tastes,” Riddhi Roy, operations manager of Dolphins Travel, a Kolkata based travel company, told Media India Group.
With the rise in tourism sector, travellers expect to cover a lot in a short period of time. Not just places but what they will eat during their trip is also a major concern. Keeping this in mind travel operators are now introducing food festivals in their travel plan.
“It has actually become an exciting and a fun process to try various kinds of food and the best part being people don’t complain even if they don’t like it instead they are happy that they got to try something new. Now we have also started incorporating various food festivals in our itineraries being held at different places and this concept is catching up with the middle aged and young generation,” added Roy.
Ritu Mehrotra, country manager India, Booking.com said, “We Indians love to explore new destinations where there is a strong food culture as it completely enhances the travel experience. Food plays a huge role in our travel choices and tasting the local and street food is a great way for travellers to really get immersed in the local culture and community.”
The cities that were considered as the top destinations to discover local food in India by the survey were New Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Jaipur and Candolim. Top destinations for street food are Kolkata, Amritsar, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and New Delhi.
Taste the local cuisine
Also with the growing trend the tourism industry has seen a rise in food blogs and websites. Culinary tourists share millions of food and beverage themed photos across social platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and others. This increases travel consumers’ awareness of different cuisines and cultures and it increases the desire to try the particular cuisines.
“Whenever I am exploring new places, I make sure to try the local cuisine of that place. Every culture has its unique food habits which fascinates me. I like to know about the cooking style, history of cuisines, local flavours and tradition,” says Sonali Dutt a working professional from Mumbai.
Since veganism is gaining a lot of popularity in the past few years, vegetarian travellers have become very conscious while choosing a vegetarian friendly destination. A survey released by Cox and Kings last year had revealed that 70 pc of the vegetarian travellers choose their destination based on accessibility to vegetarian food. Whereas, 71 pc of the vegetarian travellers choose vegetarian tours over cosmopolitan tours, as this assures them of the availability of vegetarian meals.
“We as travel agents usually try finding restaurants that serve Indian food so that people can enjoy their meal and especially people who are vegetarians. People who are vegans inquire about the eating habits of that particular location they would be travelling to. We usually don’t face any problem when it comes to young vegetarian travellers who are open to cosmopolitan group tours,” added Roy.