Chefs are the cultural ambassadors and play important role in promoting Culinary Tourism. The concepts of Indian Foods comes from our thousands of year’s old cultural heritage as well as Ayurveda hence we must spread the word about Indian Food among our people by educating them then only it will be resulting in Culinary Tourism in the true spirit, says Chief Manjit Singh Gill, President, Indian Federation of Culinary Associations. He was speaking at Webinar on Culinary Tourism organised by FICCI.
Earlier, Prateek Hira, President & CEO, Tornos said that United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has already recognised Culinary Tourism as a Niche Tourism activity which is an experience with food, food products and all the activities around it. It not only eating or cooking food, it involves all things around visiting local producers, attending a food festival, learning cooking at classes run by locals, and so much more. He added that Culinary Tourism has a bigger canvas than just food as it contributes largely giving destinations new heights in tourism, it keeps the traditions alive and involve local communities, and hugely promote employment generation which is most important as it has given rise to so many new professions including food walk leaders, food critics, food bloggers, food writers, food photographers, many more.
He also informed that at times food itself gives reason to travel and other things like sightseeing, culture, heritage, monuments, are in the periphery and the key element is food. There is research that 53% of travellers travel for food to the places where they promise good food, multiple eateries and some unique array of cuisines. 80% of the travellers’ research for food when choosing a destination for holiday and this way this becomes the kind of motivator for choosing a destination and astonishingly 25% of a travel budget is being spent on food.
Chef Rajeev Goyal, President, India Food Tourism Organisation said that Culinary Tourism is one sector that not only promotes tourism but also promotes sectors like food processing and gives wings to concepts like Tea Tourism, Coffee Tourism, Spices Tourism, Wine Tourism, Agriculture Tourism and Sustainable Tourism. We are required to popularise our food across the world to attract people & encourage at the policy level. Rajasthan is the only place in the country that has a tourism policy to promote their country liquor and this way there is a lot can be done to popularise the cuisines of India.
He added that before independence we were 564 different princely estates and we should have at least 564 best cuisines to serve, promote and documented. Culinary Tourism can provide an alternate career option to many professional Chefs as Culinary Tour guides or Leader.
Earlier while delivering welcome remarks, Surendra Singh Shahpura, Member, FICCI Rajasthan State Council & Chairman, Shahpura Hotels said that the tourism potential of India lies not only in its rich culture and heritage but also its gastronomical delights which is a melange of spices and flavours. Culinary tourism is not only important for preserving the culinary customs and traditions but is also essential for local vendors, farmers and other sectors of the industry.