NEW YORK – August 14, 2012 – Culinary tours allow travelers to go beyond the tourist hotspots and experience the colorful history, unique culture, and distinct tastes of a destination, just like locals. According to an annual survey of United States Tour Operator Association (USTOA) active members, more than half of respondents (53%) planned to offer new "experiential" travel programs this year, naming culinary themed tours at the top of the list.
“Travelers tend to be more adventurous when exploring the world and this includes their taste buds. Many would rather take part in native culinary traditions than eat the same food they can get at home,” said Terry Dale, president of USTOA. “Luckily for travelers, USTOA members recognize the importance of food in travel and celebrate authentic culinary experiences around the globe.”
From Eastern Canada to Vietnam, here is a sampling of unusual and authentic culinary vacations offered by USTOA members:
During Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection’s 13-day “Splendors of Italy 2013” cruise from Venice to Rome, travelers will have the opportunity to experience a pasta-making workshop in Bologna, a winetasting lunch at Castello Verrazzano, an Italian dessert-making demonstration and tasting, an olive oil and wine tasting, and a special wine and food pairing dinner. Available on multiple departure dates between April and November 2013, prices start at $5,499 per person with savings up to $1,200 per couple if booked by October 31, 2012. For additional details visit www.uniworld.com.
From bun cha and pho in the north to bun bo, banh khoai, and other Nguyen Dynasty delicacies in the center, to the spicy, French infused flavors of the south, travelers on Travel Indochina’s “Vietnam Culinary Discovery” will learn about the people and traditions of Vietnam from the vantage point of the kitchen. In addition to three cooking classes, one of which is a full day experience at the Red Bridge Cooking School in Hoi An, guests will visit Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, Saigon, and the Mekong Delta. This 11-day journey is available on a number of departure dates through March 2014 with prices from $1,995 per person. Visit www.travelindochina.com for additional details.
No epicurean tour of Eastern Canada would be complete without maple taffy in the snow and travelers on Collette Vacations “Collette Classic Touring: The Best of Eastern Canada” will get the opportunity to try this favorite regional treat. While experiencing two night stays in Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa, and Toronto, as well as a Maid of the Mist cruise to see Niagara Falls up close, visitors will enjoy breakfast at a local sugar shack and learn about the traditions of maple syrup making while sampling a number of delicious traditional foods made with local maple syrup. Available on a number of dates in October 2012, April through October 2013, and April 2014, prices start at $2,149. Visit www.collettevacations.com for more information.
Lion World Tours’ “Culinary Safari,” offered on several departure dates in 2012 and 2013, provides travelers the opportunity to explore the stunning views, local culture, and exquisite cuisine of South Africa. Foodies will enjoy cooking with game in the kitchens of the Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa in Cape Town, using uniquely South African ingredients at Le Quartier Francais in the heart of the Cape Winelands, and preparing Potjiekos, a stew prepared outdoors over an open fire. Prices starting from $6,499, visit www.lionworldtravel.com for more information.
Swain Tours’ “There is Nothing Like Australia” tour offers guests the opportunity to eat breakfast with kangaroos, participate in a hands-on tutorial on the art and science of blending grape varietals in a winemaker’s laboratory, and cruise like a local on Sydney Harbour before eating an Australian barbecue lunch served with regional wines and beers. Throughout the journey, travelers will cross the International Date Line, explore coastal and rainforest scenery, and tour the spectacular Sydney Opera House. Prices from $12,070, this 12-night journey must be booked by November 30, 2012. Visit www.swaintours.com for additional details.
For additional culinary tours or more information on USTOA, visit www.ustoa.com, call 212-599-6599, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor Note: Information was provided by individual companies and was correct at time of writing. All tours/packages subject to availability. Images available upon request.
The Active member companies of U.S. Tour Operators Association provide tours, packages and custom arrangements that allow travelers unparalleled access, insider knowledge, peace-of-mind, value and freedom to enjoy destinations and experiences across the entire globe. Each Active member company has met the travel industry’s highest standards, including participation in the USTOA’s Travelers Assistance Program, which protects consumer payments up to $1 million if the company goes out of business. USTOA Associate members represent an array of travel supplier companies such as airlines, tourist boards, attractions, hotels and resorts, ground operators, and more.
As a voice for the tour operator industry for 40 years, USTOA also provides education and assistance for consumers and travel agents.
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A travel vacation should not only be an unforgettable experience, but offer solid peace of mind. That’s why USTOA created a consumer protection fund which protects consumers who book with our Active Members.Learn More