Mapping Culinary Tourism In Europe Through Restaurant Bookings


From the Michelin-starred restaurants of Paris to the pizza vendors of Rome and the delicious pastéis de nata of Lisbon, Europe’s culinary specialties and the quality of its restaurants – as well as their variety – are such that food-loving travelers have plenty to choose from. And this summer, vacationers have made their way onto the menu of the continent’s culinary highlights. Of travel + leisure

With tourism resurgent, borders reopening and travel restrictions easing – or lifting – travelers are back on the road and back on the restaurant lane. Inspired by the ever-growing selection of gastronomic guides and specialist foodie media, this tasty way of traveling was already booming before the pandemic. According to the Paris Ile-de-France Region Tourist Office, in 2018 13.1 million tourists who visited the French capital and its region discovered French gastronomy.

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Here’s how travelers map culinary tourism in Europe

At that time, these travelers spent about 8.9 billion euros (INR 7,08,19,11,28,143). In an extensive study, Visit Paris Region found that international travelers who wanted to try the local cuisine were on average 39 years old, while French people who came to the capital for the same reason were slightly older at 43. Americans were the clientele with the biggest appetites (14.3%).

Now that the summer season is over, we can get a better idea of ​​how tourists enjoy Europe’s culinary delights thanks to The Fork, the leading restaurant reservation network in the old continent (and Australia). The platform lists almost 60,000 restaurants in 12 countries. Based on reservations made at its partner restaurants in July and August, The Fork concludes it was a “record summer”. Compared to the previous year, bookings at the European level have increased by 11% and even exceeded those of 2019 – the reference year before the pandemic – by around 3%.

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Italy is a culinary favorite

Unsurprisingly, Italy is the continent’s top culinary destination for The Fork’s international guests, given its endless opportunities to eat well and cheaply. It is the European country that generates the largest share of international reservations (29%), ahead of Spain (22%) and France (20%).

French travelers have a particular fondness for Italian culinary tourism (39%), with Spanish and Portuguese restaurants attracting fewer French travelers (25% and 18% respectively). And that seems to be mutual, as Italians top the list of tourists who book restaurants while on holiday in France (17%).

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Travelers from the UK are almost as numerous (16%), far ahead of visitors from Germany (9%), Belgium (8%) and the Netherlands (7%). When foreign visitors come to France and dine out, they logically choose French cuisine and, to a lesser extent, Italian or even Japanese restaurants. When it comes to international visitor reservations by city rather than by country, Paris leads with 8% of international visitors, ahead of Barcelona (5%) and Lisbon (5%).

The story was published via AFP relaxnews

Main and Main Image Credit: Photography sanjeri / Shutterstock©

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