23 January 2007, 19:00 PM
  • With food now a strong focus in the media, British holidaymakers are giving more thought to food when booking their trips.

Tour operator, Tailor Made Travel, discovered in a survey of 1,000 customers that as the nation grows ever more interested in food, so does their taste for food and wine themed holidays.

Food conscious travellers are now looking for holidays where they can learn to cook or attend courses on the wine making process. The operator discovered that holidays are not just about enjoyment as people also want to learn new skills and cookery is one of the most popular. Plus, Jamie Oliver’s new Fifteen restaurant in Melbourne is encouraging more foodies into the gastronomic city, which is already popular for wine and cookery schools.

“We offer a number of holidays that are tailored around food and wine, especially in Australia and New Zealand,” says Andrew Chapman, marketing director for Tailor Made Travel. “Since cookery has become more fashionable we’ve seen a shift towards holidays with this type of theme, with around 20% of all holidays booked having some kind of food or wine element.”

Traditionally, popular destinations for foodies have been France and Italy, where it is not uncommon for British holidaymakers to return waxing-lyrical of the delights of fresh local produce and delicious wines.

Mr Chapman believes the new spate of food tourism has a more health conscious element to it than it did in the past, “They want to combine all the eating and drinking with some type of activity. Currently, our most popular gourmet tour is the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail,” he says.