Food: The critical success factor for emerging Asian resort destinations

Food: The critical success factor for emerging Asian resort destinations

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Patong seafood

Food: local, variety, competitively priced and out-of-hotel dining experience.

An essential element of the tourism eco-system for any successful destination if you are targeting the Asian travel market.

Keep this in mind if you are master planning or developing any new resort destination. As the survey below states it’s the critical determining factor for travelers when selecting a destination.

Via ETN News:

A survey of traveler behavior has revealed that for over a third (36 per cent) of leisure travelers in APAC, food and drink is the critical determining factor in where they choose to travel.

Some key findings for Singapore were:

— 30 per cent of Singaporeans said that food is a ‘critical factor’ when deciding where to visit

— 77 per cent of Singaporeans say they seek out unique culinary experiences when they travel

— 92 per cent of Singaporeans make a point of trying famous local dishes when they travel

— 96 per cent seek out local street food when visiting a destination

Surveying 2,700 leisure travelers from across nine countries in APAC, the study, commissioned by leading global hospitality company, Hilton Worldwide, found that only five per cent of respondents said that food and drink was not a consideration when deciding where to holiday.

“A country or city’s culinary offering is clearly a big driver as to where leisure travelers in Asia Pacific choose to travel,” said Markus Schueller, vice president for Food & Beverage Operations, Asia Pacific at Hilton Worldwide.

“Appreciation for food and drink continues to grow, and this has significant implications for the hospitality industry. Gone are the days where hotels were simply places to rest. Today, they have to be food and drink destinations themselves, providing guests with the services and information that fit with the increased emphasis they place on quality culinary experiences when they travel.”

Taking in responses from leisure travelers in Australia, mainland China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, results showed that food was also a priority when it came to holiday spend, with 43 per cent of respondents allocating up to half of their total holiday budget for food and drink.

According to the survey, food also influences what activities took priority in the minds of travelers when on vacation, with 90 per cent of respondents going out of their way to try famous local dishes. 87 per cent said they seek out local street food and 79 per cent look for culturally unique food experiences like culinary festivals and food markets when visiting a destination.

When asked to identify their favorite culinary destination in APAC, Japan topped the list with the highest number of votes from leisure travelers across the region, followed closely by Thailand and Taiwan in joint second place. Votes also revealed Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong as sharing third place position as favorite culinary destinations. Results also showed that for 19 per cent of respondents, food experiences within their home country were favored over other destinations in the region. This was highest for respondents from Indonesia, Australia, Korea, Japan, and Malaysia.

Singaporean travelers voted Taiwan, followed by Hong Kong and Japan, as their favorite culinary destinations to visit in the region.

When asked what they looked for in an excellent culinary destination, 49 per cent of respondents agreed that variety of cuisine is most important, followed by unique culinary offerings, including destinations with unusual local delicacies and specialities, and cultural food experiences like food markets and festivals. Travelers from Singapore most valued variety and unique local cuisine in a culinary destination.

Schueller added, “Today’s modern culinary traveler is looking for authentic food experiences and activities which offer both quality and variety. This is something we take very seriously, working closely with our properties across Asia Pacific to develop and deliver unique dining concepts that provide guests with exceptional and memorable experiences.”

Image: William Cho

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