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The rise of culinary tourism


The rise of culinary tourism


00:18 - 01.05.2020

Experiencing and learning about a country’s cuisine is now one of the main purposes of travel. Many Vietnamese tourism agencies have successfully organised attractive culinary programmes to offer tourists.

Vietnamese cuisine has distinct and diverse features due to its geographical location that stretch through 2,000 km from the North to the South. Originating from agriculture, Vietnamese food is derived from ingredients available in nature and depends on the source of agricultural products. Vietnamese food is considered suitable for many types of tourist. The drinks and beverages are also very diverse and are prepared seasonally in association with the weather patterns, natural conditions, customs and traditions of each region.

In addition as the country has gone through a long history of development with many trade exchanges taking place, Vietnamese cuisine is influenced by various cooking and seasoning styles from countries in the world such as India, China and France. Thus, it can be affirmed that the system of Vietnamese food is formed and developed in association with life elements of Vietnamese people while distilling the quintessence of cuisines from Asian and European countries. Therefore, this combination forms a culinary culture with its own identity.

Vietnamese people have absorbed and modified European and Asian cooking styles and sensory values to suit their needs and preferences. This has made Vietnamese culinary culture valuable and attractive to domestic and foreign tourists.

Since the 1990s, food has become one of the cultural elements that is used for tourism promotion programmes. In addition, food fairs introducing traditional foods and beverages are set up to attract domestic and international visitors. Culinary culture and food tourism gradually began to be an interesting topic for research in schools as well as among experts and scholars in the field of culture. There have been many domestic and international conferences, related articles and research papers have been published.

Food tourists in Vietnam are diverse and plentiful. At first, international food tourists coming to Vietnam were mostly females from Japan in the late 1990s. Those are office workers who were interested in travelling for shopping purposes and for experiences like enjoying food and taking part in Vietnamese cooking classes. Gradually, tourists interested in food has been wider in range and more diverse. Understanding the needs of the market, travel agencies and hotels have researched and developed various short-term and major travel programmes to bring tourists the experience of making a Vietnamese dish from developing a menu, buying ingredients in the wet markets and then cooking.

Many travel agencies organise a Trans-Vietnam culinary tourism programme for foreign tourists and also offer a variety of cooking classes for guests in big hotels.

To make the most out of the potential of culinary tourism, State management agencies and researchers should consider some of the following orientations. In particular, we need specific policies on development of travel types and travel products. We need to carry out a comprehensive evaluation study, systematize the values of culinary culture ​​across the country, identify the representative culinary cultural values and identify special drinks and beverages that can be used to serve the needs of domestic and international tourists. Lastly, we need to do market research and encourage businesses to develop local culinary tourism products.

In addition, it is necessary to accelerate the promotion of culinary culture and culinary tourism products in various forms through domestic and international channels. This helps to enhance the opportunities to introduce Vietnamese cuisine to different types of tourist. Relevant researchers should conduct research, identify and concretize the definition and purposes of culinary tourism and culinary tourism products, raise awareness of the importance of developing culinary tourism and its potential products among subjects (tourists and the hosts) and related stakeholders.


Source: Travel Magazine (Tap chi Du lich)

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