Africa Travel Week
The Vineyard Hotel

Unlock Africa: The rise of culinary tourism and the self-indulgent traveller 

We highlight the increasing desire for healthy eating on holiday 

Is travel self-indulgent? Broadly speaking, yes. There are plenty of us who holiday for its hedonistic pleasures: do as much or as little as you like, eat whatever and whenever you want. 

But to travel, also allows us to get to know ourselves — to develop our own prescription for a happier life. With this in mind, perhaps it is more accurate to say that it hits just the right balance between self-indulgence and self-care.  

With Covid-19 being a powerful motivator towards greater health awareness, travellers are choosing to look after themselves now more than ever before, while actively experiencing the world on their own terms. This has led to a growing interest in culinary or food tourism, which is now playing a fundamental role in travel recovery. 

Culinary tourism in Africa 

Culinary tourism is considered a relatively recent development, but one that has become a significant segment of tourism in many destinations around the world.  

“Travel has moved into this transformative mindset where people want to go somewhere be transformed. They want to learn about culture and try new things, and that’s where cuisine is going to shine and where the greatest opportunities are for tourism,” says Eric Pateman, Founder of ESP Culinary Consulting Inc. 

“During Covid, food became a huge part of our days in quarantine, where people started cooking again and thinking about where their food came from. Culinary tourism ties in closely to the shift in the mindset of caring for ourselves and wanting to get the most out of life through travel. It also fits perfectly into the wellness niche, which continues to grow exponentially.”  

Although Africa hasn’t always been top of mind for foodies, it’s slowly earning its rightful place at the culinary tourism table. Pateman further highlights a growing interest globally in Africa, when it comes to food, with momentum picking up in countries like South Africa, Ghana, Gambia and, Mozambique.  

Culinary case study: The Vineyard 

One place to watch is The Vineyard hotel in South Africa, which has maintained its focus on developing culinary tourism within the city of Cape Town in a sustainable and healthier way.  

This multi-facility estate has been consistently recognised for its sustainable and social initiatives. The team has also taken a fresh approach to eating, with options that evoke a sense of health and wellness amongst their guests.  

“The Vineyard is more than just a place for guests to simply indulge in delectable wine and cuisine during their holiday,” says Mike Bassett – Head of Food and Beverage for the Petousis Group

“It is a place where visitors can further develop a greater appreciation for locally-sourced food, made well, and is both nutritious and tasty, whilst immersing themselves in the culture, heritage, and traditions of South Africa.”  

By promoting local farm-to-fork cuisine to international and local visitors, the hotel believes that tourism stakeholders across Africa can draw attention to the importance of cutting back on overconsumption, while encouraging travellers to make conscious travel decisions which lead to a healthier and happier life.  

Culinary tourism allows us to use our offerings to educate others on the importance of being more intentional about how we live and interact with the world. After all, there is so much more to gastronomy than just eating,” he concludes.  

For more information on the initiatives of The Vineyard, click here.

Africa Travel Week

Africa Travel Week (ATW) focuses on inbound and outbound markets for general leisure tourism, luxury travel, LGBTQ+ travel and the MICE/business travel sector as well as travel technology. Shows include: ILTM Africa, WTM Africa, EQUAL Africa, ibtm AFRICA, Travel Forward, Sports & Events Tourism Exchange and African Tourism Investment Summit.