The scope of this report is broadly based which is related to its purpose: it is a preliminary research report for a consulting project to be conducted by GWU Masters of Tourism Administration students in Cusco, Peru June 11-22, 2012. It will attempt to give a situational analysis of the Peruvian culinary tourism environment with an emphasis on Lima and Cusco, and provide an overview of culinary tourism demand relevant to Peru. Cusco, Peru, is poised to enhance its reputation as a destination, robust in experiential activities for tourists with alluring clusters of businesses, representing its culinary and culturally unique tangible and intangible resources. Defining Culinary Tourism
The International Culinary Tourism Association (ICTA) argues that every destination should be concerned with attracting culinary tourists because, “100% of travelers eat out” (International Culinary) Scholars Lacy and Douglas stated, “…every tourist is a voyeuring gourmand…” (Blichfeldt 2010). The culinary experiences of a destination are times every tourist must experience, and these represent opportunities for the destination to tell an enjoyable story of history, culture, and artistic expression. It has the potential to connect the tourist to the community members. This opportunity is far reaching. The study, “Ontario’s Four-Year Culinary Tourism and Action Plan, 2011-2015” concluded, “Virtually any tourism experience is enriched by food and drink,” and, “ [culinary tourism’s] potential to attract tourists is ripe. All tourists eat…” (Ontario 2010) Destinations must take advantage of the opportunity to tell its story through food and drink because virtually every tourist will be a captive audience at some point during their stay. The main discrepancies in definition relate to this fact as well—to be a considered a culinary tourist is it required that eating and drinking be the primary motivation for travel? Some argue that culinary tourists are a separate class of enthusiasts that demonstrate intention in designing their itinerary around food and drink. This is also important because studies are revealing that these travelers spend on average one third to over half of their budget on dining (Ontario 2010). The dichotomy of the culinary tourism definition is important to recognize because it is at the same time an incidental source of revenue contributing to tourism growth, and a substantial market segment with travel behavior motivations that spend significantly more. Culinary Tourism Market Research: North America
Who are the markets with the highest potential for culinary tourism? According to a report given at the 13th Annual Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development held in April 2012, these groups exhibit the highest potential for culinary tourism market segments: * DINKS: Double Income No Kids.
* SINKS: Single Income No Kids.
* Both Dinks and Sinks: younger people, between 25 and 35 years of age, no children, affluent. * Empty Nesters: parents whose children have flown the family nest. Between 45 and 55 of age, well educated, high disposable income. * Boomers: members of the baby boom generation in the 1950s. * Divorcees: searching for new partners and subsequently will take prospective partners out for dinner and away for romantic weekends. (Harvey 2012)
The demographic findings summarized at the Caribbean conference are based on some large studies of U.S. traveler motivations. Findings are based on data from the first study of its kind aiming to profile U.S. culinary tourists. The study published in 2006, was conducted by the Travel Industry Association (now U.S. Travel Association), in partnership with Gourmet Magazine and the International Culinary Tourism Association (ICTA). The results are based on responses from American leisure travelers. The report...