Every year, the leading global network of agencies specializing in luxury and experiential travel brings together their advisors, partners, and journalists to discuss emerging travel trends for the coming year. With many exciting tidbits and insights into the travel industry, Virtuoso Travel Week regaled attendees with numerous observations that globetrotters can expect to see in the coming year.
Paving the way in travel trends is the rise of culinary travel. Advisors have seen a whopping 70 percent increase in travelers booking trips with a food and wine focus, with baby boomers leading the pack, followed closely by Gen-Xers and millennials.
Among the most desirable culinary experiences travelers seek is visiting a brewery or distillery, with 88 percent of culinary travelers booking these excursions. Trying local street food, participating in culinary-themed tours, and booking celebrations with family and friends are also among the top culinary experiences while traveling.
Virtuoso also sought to determine some emerging trends among culinary travelers that we can expect to grow in popularity in the coming months and years. Most travelers seek genuine authenticity and cultural immersion in their culinary experiences, with 87 percent of culinary travelers seeking these more provincial encounters. About 53 percent of culinary travelers are into hyper-local dining, while 48 percent want a combination of high/low cuisine. This follows the trend of travelers increasingly seeking more broadening experiences and immersing themselves in the local way of life at any given destination.
This trend towards celebrating culture will continue to rise among luxury travelers. In fact, the wallets agree. Almost half of luxury travelers are willing to shell out anywhere between $10- and $25,000 for culinary travel experiences. Among the elite travelers, 15 percent are willing to spend up to $50,000 for the right culinary experiences. As the saying goes, the true way to the heart is through the stomach, so eating your way around the world will surely bring you joy.