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    A taste for travel: 9 destinations for food-centric vacations

    9 destinations for food-centric vacations
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    9 destinations for food-centric vacations

    Text: Anoothi Vishal

    Indians are no longer travelling for just shopping and sightseeing. We have witnessed a lot of demand for gourmet food and beverage experiences, which offer more of an insider’s perspective for the traveller,” says Rajeev Kohli, vice president of the Indian Association of Tour Operators and managing director of Signature Tours, which has brought Insight Vacations into India.

    This is a significant change from even three-four years ago, when the typical Indian traveller was mocked at for travelling with his khakra or parantha packets even as he went about ticking sights from an aspirational bucket list. That a large, massmarket travel company is training its eyes on India as a market for food-centric vacations confirms a trend that has been quietly growing in our midst.

    While specialised companies selling gourmet vacations to a niche market of foodies have existed worldwide, a big change has been in how food experiences are shaping more mass tourism. In the age of Instagram-prompted sharing of food pictures by young consumers, and an increased interest in food as a lifestyle choice, it is perhaps inevitable that travel companies and tourism boards should look at gourmet experiences as a key marketing strategy.

    Here we take a look at some of the destinations for food-centric vacations:

    Seven-course tasting at Volta in Ghent
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    Seven-course tasting at Volta in Ghent

    Indians look to eat out at high-end restaurants while travelling in Europe, like a seven-course tasting at Volta in Ghent, Belgium

    Crabby Jack’s in New Orleans
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    Crabby Jack’s in New Orleans

    Shrimp Po-boy at Crabby Jack’s in New Orleans

    ​Amuse Gueuze
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    ​Amuse Gueuze

    Amuse Gueuze, a travelling event pairing food and beer in Belgium

    MasterChef to promote tourism
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    MasterChef to promote tourism

    Australia relies on food and food shows like MasterChef to promote tourism

    Australia, another popular destination for Indians, has been relying heavily on food to promote tourism. The success of TV shows like MasterChef Australia in India has been an indicator of how young Indians are eager for global food experiences.

    Apart from food-centric events like Taste of Melbourne or even the setting up of Rene Redzepi's Noma as a pop-up in Sydney, things like bar and cafe crawls and wine tours are becoming the centrepieces of Down Under vacations.

    Candies in Bruges
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    Candies in Bruges

    Cuberdons or coneshaped candies in Bruges

    Met Bar
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    Met Bar

    De-Light Afternoon Tea at the Met Bar in The Metropolitan, London

    Dinner in the Sky
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    Dinner in the Sky

    “Dinner in the Sky” in Brussels

    Buccellato in Lucca
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    Buccellato in Lucca

    Taste the buccellato in Lucca in Italy

    Barbeque
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    Barbeque

    Barbeque in Texas

    The writer looks at restaurant trends, food history and culinary cultures

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