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World: Food draws tourists, finds report

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Food and beverage are an increasingly significant motivator for travel, as 75% of leisure travelers have been motivated to visit a destination because of a culinary activity, according to the 2016 Food Travel Monitor Report by the World Food Travel Association (WFTA).

As many as 86% of respondents claimed having a positive food and drink experience on a trip would make them more likely to return to that destination.

Thirteen psychoculinary profiles explain why preferences and motivations differ among individual travelers.

While the most common profile is the eclectic traveler, who seeks a variety of experiences, the ‘gourmet’ profile is in the minority.

Women are also more likely to choose locally-owned and operated restaurants and bars, as 61% of women identify as localist travelers.

The overwhelming majority of American travelers (93%) engage in a food or beverage experience other than dining.

This means almost all American travelers have an interest in unique food and beverage experiences.

Regardless of income, culinary travelers prioritize spending on food and beverage, directing about 50% more of their budget towards food and beverage related activities than non-culinary travelers.

Meanwhile, Generation Xers and Millennials are much more concerned with food when they travel than those from older generations.

The increasing importance of food and beverage to younger travelers indicates a positive future for the food and beverage tourism industry.

Culinary Travelers (34%) are more motivated to visit a destination because of a posting about food or drink on social media than non-culinary Travelers (23%).

And on at least half of their trips, 64% of leisure travelers chose to share their food and beverage experiences on social media.