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Culinary Tourism Research – in Preparation for Peru Essays

Cassady Bailey Individual Research Report: Peru Consulting Practicum Topic: Peru Culinary Tourism Supply and Demand Overview The scope of this report is broadly based which is related to its purpose: it is a preliminary research report for a consulting project to be conducted by GWU Masters of Tourism Administration students in Cusco, Peru June 11-22, 2012. It will attempt to give a situational analysis of the Peruvian culinary tourism environment with an emphasis on Lima and Cusco, and provide an overview of culinary tourism demand relevant to Peru.
Cusco, Peru, is poised to enhance its reputation as a destination, robust in experiential activities for tourists with alluring clusters of businesses, representing its culinary and culturally unique tangible and intangible resources. Defining Culinary Tourism The International Culinary Tourism Association (ICTA) argues that every destination should be concerned with attracting culinary tourists because, “100% of travelers eat out” (International Culinary) Scholars Lacy and Douglas stated, “…every tourist is a voyeuring gourmand…” (Blichfeldt 2010).
The culinary experiences of a destination are times every tourist must experience, and these represent opportunities for the destination to tell an enjoyable story of history, culture, and artistic expression. It has the potential to connect the tourist to the community members. This opportunity is far reaching. The study, “Ontario’s Four-Year Culinary Tourism and Action Plan, 2011-2015” concluded, “Virtually any tourism experience is enriched by food and drink,” and, “ [culinary tourism’s] potential to attract tourists is ripe.
All tourists eat…” (Ontario 2010) Destinations must take advantage of the opportunity to tell its story through food and drink because virtually every tourist will be a captive audience at some point during their stay. The main discrepancies in definition relate to this fact as well—to be a considered a culinary tourist is it required that eating and drinking be the primary motivation for travel? Some argue that culinary tourists are a separate class of enthusiasts that demonstrate intention in designing their itinerary around food and drink.
This is also important because studies are revealing that these travelers spend on average one third to over half of their budget on dining (Ontario 2010). The dichotomy of the culinary tourism definition is important to recognize because it is at the same time an incidental source of revenue contributing to tourism growth, and a substantial market segment with travel behavior motivations that spend significantly more. Culinary Tourism Market Research: North America Who are the markets with the highest potential for culinary tourism?
According to a report given at the 13th Annual Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development held in April 2012, these groups exhibit the highest potential for culinary tourism market segments: * DINKS: Double Income No Kids. * SINKS: Single Income No Kids. * Both Dinks and Sinks: younger people, between 25 and 35 years of age, no children, affluent. * Empty Nesters: parents whose children have flown the family nest. Between 45 and 55 of age, well educated, high disposable income. Boomers: members of the baby boom generation in the 1950s. * Divorcees: searching for new partners and subsequently will take prospective partners out for dinner and away for romantic weekends. (Harvey 2012) The demographic findings summarized at the Caribbean conference are based on some large studies of U. S. traveler motivations. Findings are based on data from the first study of its kind aiming to profile U. S. culinary tourists. The study published in 2006, was conducted by the Travel Industry Association (now U. S.
Travel Association), in partnership with Gourmet Magazine and the International Culinary Tourism Association (ICTA). The results are based on responses from American leisure travelers. The report attempted to identify the market segment in numbers and economic impact, and defined culinary tourists as those participating in either food travel or wine travel, and defined food travelers as, “Leisure travelers who engage in activities such as attending classes, dining out for a unique and memorable experience, shopping at farmer’s markets, shopping for gourmet food, attending local festivals, etc. Clearly these travelers demonstrate intention and are not necessarily under the “All travelers eat out” category. At the time the study was published, 17% of leisure travelers had engaged in culinary travel activities in the past year, representing 27 million Americans. This is an impressive niche, and the potential for it to expand was indicated. Over 60% surveyed indicated that they were interested in participating in culinary travel in the next 12 months (TIA and Edge 2006). Spending habits and motivations
Deliberate travelers (for culinary tourism) represented 4. 8% of leisure travelers, and it was found that they were more likely to participate in other food related activites, including “Visiting Farmers Markets” (29%), “Sampling traditional artisan products” (27%), and “Attending a Culinary Festival” (24%) (TIA and Edge 2006). One of the main motivations to experience culinary travel was found to be the desire for local and regional cuisine, and 85% of Serious Culinary Travelers (7. % percent of leisure travelers classified with either Deliberate or Opportunistic travel behaviors) replied affirmatively to “ I enjoy learning about the local culture and cuisines of the different travel destinations I visit” Other findings: * Culinary travelers do not waffle between age, gender, and regional groups, with the exception of mature travelers who are generally less interested. * 21% of travelers from households with annual incomes over $100,000 have participated in some form of culinary travel. Those with post-secondary education were three times more likely to fall into the classification of the Serious Culinary Traveler (Deliberate or Opportunistic). * Culinary travelers are more interested in print material than the general public, and likely to read culinary publications. (TIA and Edge 2006) Trends in Culinary Tourism The 21st century has witnessed a sharp increase in the interest in food, especially internationally themed food, exhibited in a variety of ways.
Globalization, electronic information sharing, and increased access to traveling internationally have cultivated a worldwide fascination with food as an expression of culture and an integral part of the travel experience. The popularity of Peru’s culinary scene is aligned with these overarching trends as well as current trends to foster the phenomenon. The Ontario plan outlined several trends in the food and beverage sector.
Of those of particular relevancy to Peru include: * Growing consumer interest in farm/producer branded products with a story; * Growing interest in heritage vegetables, fruits and breeds; * A growing recognition of the value of partnerships and strategic alliances in tourism for both marketing as well as product innovation; and * Increasing use of social media by consumers to access information about culinary opportunities and to comment on these opportunities. (Ontario 2010)
The 2012 Restaurant, Food & Beverage Research Handbook cited similar trends, based on the opinions of over 200 chefs from the American Culinary Federation. Thematically, the top trend they named was “Hyper-local sourcing,” with the top menu trends of “Locally sourced meats and seafood,” as well as “Locally sourced produce” The number two alcoholic trend is micro-distilled or artisan spirits, followed closely by “Culinary cocktails,” described as local cocktails with fresh ingredients (Miller 2012). Baum + Whiteman also annually produces a report on top culinary trends, and Peruvian influences made the 2012 list.
Peruvian cuisine’s global influences were, partially given credit for its popularity. Their report stated, “Peru’s food is cross pollinated by Japanese, Spanish, Chinese, Italian, and Andean influences…expect to see more of this cuisine…along with vibrant, acidic fruits and juices that go along with their unique raw fish preparations” (Miller 2012). The report also warns against the growing misuse of words like, “artisan,” “heirloom,” and “local” because in the U. S. many businesses are trying to capitalize off of these trends for seeking local food. They caution that in the near future, there may be an oversupply of farmers market products.
Cusco claims to be “the oldest continually inhabited city in the Western Hemisphere,” with its economy rooted in agriculture with breeds of ancient vegetables to help tell that story (Symmes 2011). Beyond the history is the quality of the product and the unique culinary traditions exhibited in Peru which serves as an excellent framework to work off of current culinary tourism trends. Slow Food Movement The popularization of “slow food” sometimes referred to as the “slow food movement” is an important component of culinary tourism, as well as “slow tourism. The travel style encourages tourists to stay in a geographically concentrated place to experience more in-depth experiences beyond overly removed, mass tourism offerings. The rise of culinary enthusiasm in tourism has spurred an interest in food production both for quality and sustainability. This means for the tourist exploring foods linkages to people and culture, as well as sectors contributing to tourism like agriculture. The tourist is examining the supply chain more than ever before. They are not interested in the quantity of production, but the quality and diversity.
Travelers as well as the food and beverage industry have the power to demand sustainably produced products, exemplified in current successes of the Peruvian agricultural sector shifting to more organic production. Carlo Petrini, author of Slow Food Nation, clarified that these new motivations are part of a process to restore food to its central place, and stated, “Food and its production must regain the central place that they deserve among human activities, and we must reexamine the criteria that guide our actions” (Petrini 2005).
These objectives align well with regional tourism development and engaging the culinary tourist with the entire food supply chain with the end product of authentic, localized cuisine. It also effects the motivations of suppliers, applying appropriate accountability to produce agricultural products that are good, clean, and fair. From a marketing perspective, the development of slow food oriented clusters of businesses are helpful to tell the story of unique cultural offerings in terms of food, and provide services for small businesses to leverage their culinary products.
Conscious authentic tourism development is very challenging because there are inherent pejorative threats involved with commoditizing a cultural experience. However, it seems as though cultural culinary expression is comparatively more effortless; it achieves an intimate, honest, and creative experience and serves as a cultural bridge. PERU CULINARY TOURISM OVERVIEW Introduction Commenting on the emergence of the Peruvian culinary scene, Patrick Symmes of Conde Nast Traveler summarized, “Buenos Aires is so over” (Symmes 2011) Peru is considered one of the new international hot spots to experience culinary tourism.
They country boasts dozens of distinct growing zones from sea level into the Andes, resulting in thousands of varieties of fruits and vegetables. Many vegetable strains are ancient in origin and the produce overall is considered among the best in the world. Additionally, the Humboldt Current carrying water up the coast of Peru from the Antarctic Region is rich in plankton, resulting in an abundant and diverse fish population. Peruvian culinary traditions have evolved over thousands of years and have drawn on these resources.
Global influences and the presence of many respected culinary institutions in Peru have given the culinary scene a modern edge as well. The country is perfectly poised to leverage these assets in their positioning and attract culinary tourism markets. Culinary Tourism in Peru, 2012 New World Report: Journal of Food, Drink and Travel in the Americas recently published an article identifying the top Peruvian food trends of 2012. They asked Peruvian chef Gaston Acurio to give his predictions of the future of the phenomenon. Notably, he cites the growth of the agricultural sector as a result of organic exports as one of the most important.
The high quality ingredients take center stage in Peruvian cuisine, and the agricultural sector is experiencing the positive effects of high-quality, organic fruit and vegetable demand (Symmes 2011). International Influences In addition to the quality of the ingredients, the great deal of international influences in the style of Peruvian cuisine also characterizes it. Notably, in the early 1800’s, hundreds of thousands of Japanese citizens relocated to Peru to be employed by the railroad expansion companies and farming. There was significant immigration by the Chinese as well, and the country served as the viceroyal seat to the Spainiards.
One of the most visible examples of this is a dish native to Peru, lomo saltado. It is a chicken and vegetable dish sauteed in a sauce with a soy sauce base, exemplifying Asian influence (Symmes 2011). Many attribute the internationally influenced aspects of the cuisine as a defining strength because aspects of the food are familiar to international visitors, and they find comfort in that. The economic downturn witnessed the public returning to heavy comfort foods as a coping mechanism, and now as international influences are becoming more popular, Peru can take advantage of both trends.
Mistura Mistura is Lima’s newly launched annual food festival. 2012 marks its 5th year, and the planning committee has changed locations to allow for more visitors this year. In 2011, Mistura attracted over 300,000 visitors, over 4,000 of which were from outside Peru (Some 4000). The food festival is interesting because it not only draws internationally acclaimed chefs but also features Peruvian traditional cuisine in one central area of food stalls. Food stalls featuring avant garde food as well as the typical food of huariques, or “hole-in-the-wall” vendors.
Visitors pay an entrance fee and may purchase tickets to be exchanged for food, a popular method for large food festivals. Tour Operators Many tour operators have added culinary experiences to their tours, and tour operators specializing in culinary vacations. Most are based around activities in Lima for the entire time, or split between Lima and another destination such as Cusco or Arequipa. Most week-long packages sell for the 3,000 to 4,000 dollar range, and feature cooking classes with internationally acclaimed chefs as well as farm visits and top restaurants.
Please see Appendix B for a itinerary details for five culinary tourism companies running packages split between Lima and Cusco. Pisco Sour’s Role The Pisco Sour is critical to Peru’s positioning for two main reasons. Firstly, it is an unmistakable Peruvian beverage that is unique to the country. Frequently cited as one of the benefits of wine tourism is the potential for the tourist to search for the products after returning, and purchases continue to benefit the economy there. Secondly, many popular culinary destinations have an accompanying wine scene, which in Peru is not as popular.
The rigorous set of standards Pisco must meet to earn its label further leverages and protects the brand. Impact As culinary travel increases, so will share of vacation spending on dining. The chairman of the food subcommittee in the Lima Chamber of Commerce, Adolfo Perret estimated that the Peruvian culinary industry could reach sales of S/ . 45 billion dollars. Additionally, one article published in Andina, estimated that 100,000 tourists travel to Peru every year just for the food (Some 4000).
This includes regional travel as well, as many Chileans and Ecuadorians cross the border, and according to Rolando Arellano of Arellano Marketing, their main motivation is to experience the quality of the food (Some 4000). Conclusion The culinary tourism trend in worldwide and in Peru is in an upswing, and it is apparent that there is some opportunity for continued growth. 2012 trends for culinary tourism are aligned with the style of Peruvian cuisine: a celebration of high quality ingredients that are locally sourced.
As such, Peruvian culinary activities fit well into the scheme of experiential travel because the visitor is more aware of the supply chain of chefs and ingredients. Mistura means “mixture,” and the festival exemplify the mixture of Peruvian influences in its cuisine: traditional and modern; approachable and dazzling.
Works Cited Canadian Tourism Commission. Research Resolutions & Consulting Ltd. (2010). Canadian Wine & Culinary Enthusiasts: 2011-2015 A special analysis of the Travel Activities and Motivation Survey. Retrieved June 2012 from: http://en-corporate. canada. travel/ Blichfeldt and Therkelsen (2010) Food and Tourism: Michelin, Moussaka, and McDonald’s. Working paper. Retrieved June 2012 from: http://vbn. aau. dk/files/42439241/TRU_progress_8. pdf Harvey, Ena. Agro and Culinary Tourism: Getting it to the Next Level. Powerpoint presentation. Retrieved June 2012 from: http://www. iica. int/esp/prensa/iicaconexion/IICAConexion2/2012/N10/Culinary_Tourism. pdf International Culinary Tourism Association. “Six Reasons Why Culinary Tourism Should Matter to You. ” Retrived June 2012 from: http://www. culinarytourism. org/content/understand-culinary-tourism-0 National Restaurant Association. (2012). “Chef Survey: What’s Hot in 2012. ” Retrieved June 2012 from: http://www. restaurant. org/pressroom/social-media-releases/images/whatshot2012/What’s_Hot_2012. pdf New World Review: Journal of Food, Drink, and Travel in the Americas. (2012). “10 Peruvian Food Trends for 2012. ” Retrieved June 2012 from: http://newworldreview. com/2012/01/10-peruvian-food-trends-for-in-2012/ Miller and Washington. (2012) “The 2012 Market, Food and Beverage, and Research Handbook. ” Richard K. Miller and Associates. Ontario’s Four-Year Culinary Tourism and Action Plan, 2011-2015. 2010). Retrieved June 2012 from: http://www. mtc. gov. on. ca/en/publications/Culinary_web. pdf Petrini, Carlo. (2005). Slow Food Nation: Why our food should be good, clean, and fair. New York: Rizzoli Ex Libris. “Some 4000 Tourists to Attend Mistura Food Festival in Peru. ” (2011) Peruthisweek. com. Retrieved June 2012 from: http://www. peruthisweek. com/news-373-Some-4000-tourists-to-attend-Mistura-Food-Festival-in-Peru/ Symmes, Patrick. (2011) “Pop Goes Peru. ” Conde Nast Traveler online edition. Retrieved June 2012 from: http://www. cntraveler. com/food/2011/07/Pop Goes-Peru

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