Will Travel for Food
One of the first questions our Savor Saint Louis Food Tour guides ask our guests is if they’ve ever been on a food tour before. In the four years of leading tours, we’ve noticed an uptick in people saying yes. And not only yes, but many add that no matter where they travel, they incorporate a food tour into their trip.
Apparently it’s not just food tours people are taking more of. Culinary travel, as it’s called in the industry, is on the rise among travelers overall.
“Authentic and local experiences are the biggest trends for culinary travelers in 2016” says Justin Harkey, corporate director of Food & Beverage at First Hospitality Group, in this Modern Restaurant Management article.
He goes on to break down new research from the World Food and Travel Association stating “culinary travelers make up roughly half of all trip takers.” And that 93 percent of all survey respondents had “participated in a unique food or beverage activity while traveling in the past two years.”
In other words, more and more travelers are designing their trips around food experiences.
“A lot of people take our food tours when they first arrive in St. Louis so they know a neighborhood more intimately and have restaurants they’re now familiar with and will go back to for a full meal while they’re in town,” said Jennifer Schmid, co-owner of Savor Saint Louis Food Tours.
Food tours are an excellent way to get to know a part of a city and its food. Even the restaurants on our tours have noticed.
“It’s incredibly rewarding to be able to meet out of town guests and have an opportunity to make a real connection with them in more than a ‘thanks for coming’ setting,” Tom Schmidt, owner of Salt + Smoke said. “Savor Saint Louis helps us build deeper relationships with a national audience.”
One example of the success of the food tours and culinary travel with a food establishment in St. Louis is at Bissinger’s. A drink that was created specifically for the Savor Saint Louis food tours was requested enough at other times by previous food tour guests that the Maryland Plaza shop eventually added it to its menu.
“There are still plenty of people in St. Louis and beyond who haven’t visited Pi, and Savor Saint Louis is an incredibly powerful way to reach those potential guests,” Chris Sommers, founder of Pi Pizzeria said. “We see so many of them returning on their own, or visiting us at one of our out-of-town locations.”
Have you designed a trip (or trips) around food? Tell us about it.