The pursuit of “unique experiences” is set to grow over 16% per year, giving a much-needed boost to the global tourism industry as the increased use of social media drives the global culinary tourism market.

A new study published by Allied Market Research covering the culinary tourism market, reports that the global culinary tourism market garnered €981m in 2019, and is estimated to reach €1.59bn by 2027, registering a CAGR of 16.8% from 2020 to 2027.

Growth of the global culinary tourism market will, says the study, be driven by the pursuit of unique experiences and a rise in usage of social media. Political uncertainty and natural calamities are hindering market growth. On the other hand, unique destinations and options for convenient and budget-friendly accommodation are anticipated to offer new opportunities in the coming years.

The operational disruption in both travel and food & beverages industry, due to COVID-19 outbreak, has of course impacted the culinary tourism market. A halt to the services offered by the hospitality industry due to an active lockdown and social distancing has adversely affected the growth of this industry.

The food festival segment to maintain its leading status

Based on activity type, the food festival segment accounted for nearly one-third of the global culinary tourism market in 2019, and is expected to maintain its lead status in terms of revenue throughout the forecast period. This is due to the growing affinity of tourists towards novel and rich food experiences. However, cooking classes are forecast to see the highest CAGR – at 17.8% from 2020 to 2027. The rising trend of learning through travel and an increase in the propensity of chefs to learn to cook food from different origins is another growth driver.

When it comes to mode of booking, OTAs contributed the highest market share with nearly half of the global culinary tourism market’s bookings in 2019, and is estimated to maintain its leadership position during the forecast period. This is attributed to a growing adoption of smartphones as a way to make travel arrangements and availability of convenience and attractive offers.

Based on region, Asia-Pacific accounts for the highest share based on revenue, holding for more than two-fifths of the global culinary tourism market in 2019, and is projected to maintain its dominant position throughout the forecast period. Moreover, the same region is forecast to generate the fastest CAGR – 17.8% – from 2020 to 2027. This is attributed to the availability of a wide variety of traditional food and unique beverages which motivates culinary tourists to make travel arrangements in the region. North America is anticipated to manifest the CAGR of 14.5% from 2020 to 2027.

But gastronomy is about much more than food. It reflects the culture, heritage, traditions and sense of community of different peoples. It is a way of promoting understanding among different cultures, and of bringing people and traditions closer together. Gastronomy tourism is also emerging as an important protector of cultural heritage, and the sector helps create opportunities, including jobs, most notably in rural destinations.

Several destinations are getting ready to restart tourism, by leveraging gastronomy.

As part of the UNWTO #TravelTomorrow campaign, chefs from around the world show us how to prepare local dishes at home. We are also proud that the UNWTO Ambassadors for Gastronomy Tourism have joined this initiative. Also, UNWTO Secretary-General shared a typical dish of his native Georgia.

All of these are dishes to enjoy while planning our next trip and getting ready to travel again once it is safe to do so.

Ana Ros
Phililppines – Margarita Forés


African cuisine

A tour all about flavours and spices. From Algeria to Zambia, from Cote d’Ivoire to Uganda, the African continent presents irresistible recipes of local dishes. Across Africa, gastronomy tourism can be used to drive economic growth and create jobs, including in rural communities, and help protect and promote cultural heritage.

American cuisine


Latin American and Caribbean combine refreshing bites with slow-cooked traditional dishes, offering a cuisine full of touches that never cease to surprise our taste buds. A major component of history, tradition and identity, gastronomy has also become a major motivation to visit this region.

Asian cuisine


The largest continent in the world offers delicacies for all types of palates. Sweet, sour or spicy, a wide range of mouth-watering flavours is on the table. Gastronomy tourism has a unique ability to contribute to the growth of sustainable tourism in Asia and the Pacific.

 European cuisine


From the best known Mediterranean dishes to the cuisine of Eastern Europe, the gastronomy of this region is blends together past and present, tradition and creativity. The diversity and cultural richness of European cuisine has become a leading element in attracting visitors, and gastronomy tourism is helping destinations diversify their sectors and promote rural development.

Middle Eastern cuisine


From Egypt to Saudi Arabia, Middle Eastern cuisine represents tastes and textures of a mosaic heritage of identities. The union between gastronomy and tourism provides a platform to preserve tangible and intangible heritage, to empower communities and to enhance intercultural understanding.

Photo – top of page – Ayam pansuh at Mulu Marriott resort, Sarawak

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