As the majority – 67 percent – of Chinese tourists chooses to go on gastronomy holidays, Western Europe has evolved into a key culinary destination for them, according to the findings of a report recently released by data and analytics company GlobalData.
Titled “Destination Market Insights: Western Europe”, the report reveals that destinations such as Italy and Austria are set to experience a rapid growth in Chinese visitor numbers over the next four years. Diversifying their gastronomy product should be a tourism strategy that both countries should be focusing on.
“The number of Chinese tourists to Austria is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.5 percent between 2019 and 2023. Numbers to Italy are expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.8 percent during the same period.
Western European countries can utilize their gastronomy offering to spread Chinese tourist numbers around different regions. This will help to avoid over-tourism in hotspots such as Salzburg and Rome,” said Ralph Hollister, travel and tourism analyst at GlobalData
Western Europe attracts different types of gastronomy tourists such as foodies, adventurers and traditionalists due to its wide range of countries, which have varying relationships with their culinary heritage.
Gastronomy tourists will often travel to Western Europe to experience unique cuisines that are famed for dishes that have achieved global success. Italian food is a prime example: Chinese tourists want to sample authentic pizza and pasta, and be culturally submerged in the process.
“The key challenge surrounding gastronomy tourism is that it is mainly restaurants which receive the economic benefit.
DMO’s need to encourage all food tour companies to take travelers to real, authentic food suppliers where they can taste local dishes and interact with locals from different parts of the supply chain,” Hollister said also adding that encouraging this strategy within gastronomy tourism, will assist in spreading the economic benefit of this niche tourism activity.