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Article
september 07, 2010
Tourism with 5 senses

We are witnessing a rapid proliferation of new restaurants, attractions related to food and wine, Chefs Schools, food festivals and tasting routes. Wine Tourism and Gastronomic Tourism has become the new stars of entertainment. Eating and drinking are no longer biological needs only to become vehicles of experience.

In recent years the traditional Tourism and Leisure offer is yielding to proposals such as spas and resorts, architectural routes, wine routes, gastronomic routes, rural tourism etc. It seems the way of consuming destinations has shifted to include other ways beyond the purely visual, beyond passive contemplation of landscapes, monuments, beaches or mountains. Taste, Smell, Touch promises to become new channels of enjoyment.

The multiplication of new gastronomic routes is related to trends such as local traditional food validation and careful production processes. This results in circuits often linked to quality certifications and protected designations of origin, where the traveler accompanies the production process with the subsequent tasting of products. In Spain, certain products are very successful such as cheese, olive oil and wine. A more sybaritic gastronomic tourism puts delight in the culinary vanguard of the great restaurants. They both share the pursuit of excellence and quality, far from standardization and mass products.

On the other hand, the "wine boom" has made the act of drinking a sophisticated hobby and has fostered the development of specific tourism, the "wine tourism" or “enotourism”, where the culture of wine is the trip's lei motiv and not another item into a gastronomic route. Wine tourism has been positioning itself as a market in the traditional producing countries like France, Italy and Spain, followed by new competitors who are pushing to reach their place: Australia, USA, Argentina, Chile, among others. The "wine routes" have become a specific product of these regions and a key attraction for many tourists.

What underlies these offers, in some way "heterogeneous", is a shift from mostly visual practices into forms that include all the sensory range for internalizing cultural particularities. From mid-twentieth century, the nature of consumption is more complex and non-material and symbolic elements have begun to prevail as attractive to the consumer. Tourism, as a catalyst for new trends, has proven to know how to capture this shift toward seeking specific leisure products from which Wine Tourism and Gastronomic Tourism are paradigmatic examples.

In a global market where touristic destinations compete to attract consumers (visitors or tourists) as if they were private companies, identifying the identity values of a territory, selecting those that provide differential competitive advantages, and transforming resources into products / consumer services are key strategic elements in planning destination.

At C4T we offer diagnosis, design and implementation of Strategic Plans, Competitiveness and Product Creation services for touristic destinations. If you want to explore some of these concepts, or ask for a specific situation, please contact us.


Luciana Asinari - C4T

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