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6th World Culinary Travel Expo

Culinary travel heats up in a slow economy

“Every Client Is a Culinary Traveler,” said Dori Saltzman, Leisure Editor of Travel Market Report, a U.S. based publication for travel sellers. This statement rings true as everyone eats when they travel.

Exhibitors are enthusiastically gearing up for a huge attendance of over 35,000 visitors at the 6th World Culinary Travel Expo to be held within EAT! Vancouver Festival this June 1st to 3rd, at the newly renovated BC Place Stadium, Vancouver, Canada.

If you are looking for creative avenues to expand your revenues, the World Culinary Travel Expo is for you. The Expo continues to be a must-attend event for culinary travel providers including tourist boards, tour operators, travel wholesalers, retailers, hotels, restaurants and wineries — who visualize the revenue opportunities and act on this fast-growing special interest market.
Interest in international cooking has skyrocketed in recent years thanks to the appeal of reality cooking shows and the proliferation of celebrity chefs like David Rocco of The Cooking Channel’s travel-food show David Rocco’s Dolce Vita – and Bob Blumer, host of the World’s Weirdest Restaurants. A dash of exotic flavour not only spruces up the most boring dish, but adds zest to life.

High Yield in the E-Factor

Cuisine plays an influential force in travel and is one of the most critical ingredients of any vacation experience.  This is further expounded in the July 2011 Travel Age West article, “Culinary Travel Enters a New Era.” A culinary escapade can be a welcome change from the standard travel itinerary. According to UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, January 2009 publication – special interest travellers are expected to be more resilient in the economic downturn.  Culinary travellers tend to spend more and stay longer on their trips.
A recent USTOA (US Tour Operators Association) survey reported that, “experiential travel” – or the “E Factor” – was rated important/extremely important by 85% of survey respondents to their overall growth and sales.  More than half of the survey respondents plan to offer new experiential programs, with Culinary Tours Topping the List followed by nature, adventure, photography and golf.

Who’s Cooking?
The three-day expo attracts exhibitors from various segments of the travel industry.  Representatives from destinations like Antigua and Barbuda, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, China, Philippines and Indonesia, Spain are back again this year, and there are also first-time exhibitors like Jordan and Stuweb Travel from West Africa. 
On the International Culinary Stage, visitors can watch and taste scrumptious cuisines created by chefs around the world, including Cajun-Creole cuisine by Louisiana’s renowned Chef Patrick Mould, and Oaxaca cuisine by Mexican chef, Rossana Ascencio.   
Presenting on the Food Network Stage are hosts – David Rocco of the popular Italian food television program, David Rocco’s Dolce Vita – and Bob Blumer of the World’s Weirdest Restaurants and Glutton for Punishment – Rob Feenie, Canada’s First Iron Chef America Winner.  There is also the wine, beer and spirits tasting pavilion and the Canadian Regional Barista Competition all taking place at the same venue.  

The World Culinary Travel Expo is the first of its kind exhibition devoted to promoting global travel through gastronomy. It is held within EAT! Vancouver Festival, Canada’s largest consumer food festival, featuring hundreds of food, beverage & kitchen goods exhibitors along with tourist boards, travel suppliers, wineries, breweries, restaurants, cooking demonstrations, wine and cheese seminars, cookbook authors & chef competitions. The three-day event is attended by the travel trade, culinary enthusiasts, and media. Since its inception, the expo has been attended by over 230,000 visitors and is expecting an additional 35,000 this June.

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Tatiana is the news co-ordinator for TravelDailyNews Media Network (, and Her role includes to monitor the hundrends of news sources of TravelDailyNews Media Network and skim the most important according to our strategy. She holds a Bachelor degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.