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Feb 15

Will Travel for Food

The Travel Industry Association of America released a report on Wednesday on culinary travel. The study showed the 17% of American leisure travelers (27 million) engage in wine & food related activites while travelling. But the statistics get even better:

These
travelers are younger, more affluent and better educated than non- culinary
travelers. They are clearly motivated by unique experiences, reinforcing
the benefits of focusing on a destination’s individual environmental and
cultural elements.

The
study showed a slight majority of culinary travelers who participate in
just food-related activities while traveling, with one-in-ten leisure travelers
(10%), or 16 million Americans, reporting having done so. Another one-in-ten
(9.4%), or 15 million Americans, participate in just wine-related activities.
About 4 million leisure travelers participated in both food and wine activities.

On
average, food travelers spend $1,194 per trip, with over one-third (36%
or $425) of their travel budget going towards food-related activities.
Those considered to be “deliberate” food travelers (culinary activities
were the key reason for trip) tend to spend a significantly higher dollar
amount of their overall travel budget on food-related activities ($1,271
average trip cost; $593 or 50% spent on food-related activities).

The study also looked at another segment of leisure travellers, the "serious" culinary travellers who book a trip only as a means to reach the unique food & wine experiences.

All of these facts have serious marketing implications for just about every area. So many states now (including my Ky, Indiana, and Ohio area) have wine trails, with burgeoning small wineries. Imagine the marketing potential of these wine trails to these consumers who are travelling only to enjoy the wine in a new place. Is it possible to make Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio wines appealing to someone who has to travel a large distance to get there?

The article also points out that even the less serious culinary traveller is prone to visit wineries and food and wine festivals. At any of these locations, the traveller can purchase the product, returning home with it, leading to more informal, word of mouth marketing.

I’ve seen individual wineries market themselves, but I’ve yet to be exposed to a full-scale, state-sponsored marketing assault. I guarantee there a many potential culinary travellers out there who don’t even know Ohio makes decent wines.

The best statistic in the article:

The future is bright for the culinary
traveler market, as the share of U.S. leisure travelers interested in culinary
travel in the near future (60%) is significantly larger than those currently
engaged.

Marketing: engage!

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Posted by Michelle at 11:47 pm in News, Travel | Permalink | Comments (1)

One Response to “Will Travel for Food”

  1. sarah says:

    You don’t have to leave the country to find good wine. I don’t have to go very far at all. I live in San Diego. There a numerous wine bars popping up all over the place here. I am partial to Tango Wine Company in Little Italy. They have tastings and wine events a few times a week. The shop caters to wine drinkers of all levels. Check out their site: http://www.tangowine.com/

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