Food has always been an integral part of tourism. In recent years culinary attractions have become a major reason why people travel, and they can even be a deciding factor in the choice of destination.
– Culinary tourism is part of an international trend of seeking authentic local experiences. Cuisine is a great way to explore local lifestyles and cultures, says development manager Terhi Hook from Business Finland.
Culinary tourism comes in all shapes and sizes. Some travellers seek fine-dining experiences, while others want to explore local food markets. There are food festivals, shared cookery experiences, and opportunities to combine food with the outdoors.
International travel operators have become interested in Finnish culinary travel experiences, and some retailers already offer packages in this area.
Responsible culinary tourism in finland
In Finnish culinary tourism, the focus is on clean and local food – and this is not just a marketing tactic.
– The nature in Finland is so clean. According to the international Environmental Performance Index, Finland is one of the world’s leading countries in water and air quality. Wild berries and mushrooms foraged from the forest are clean and healthy. We also have a good regulatory environment in place, for example, in terms of origin labelling requirements.
Terhi Hook believes that Finland is well prepared in terms of responsibility, but communication about the topic could be enhanced.
Tasty trail mix of food, nature and culture
Haaga-Helia is developing responsible culinary tourism products as part of its Hungry for Finland project. The project aims to encourage rural entrepreneurs to use local producers and incorporate the local environment and culture in their service offerings.
According to Hook, there are a number of successful new travel products, such as the Majatalosta Majataloon (“From Inn to Inn”) tour, which is offered by four North Karelian companies. The tour combines local culture, high-quality local food and a green way to enjoy the outdoors. How about a cycling or cross-country skiing holiday staying at inns along the way?