Tourism Northern Ontario partners with communities across the North to continue development on culinary tourism strategies.
Whether they’re coming to Northern Ontario to fish, tour or visit family, there is one thing that all tourists have in common. They eat! And when on vacation they usually eat a bit more than usual, likely four or five times a day.
Food tourism is big – and it’s growing. Over one third of tourist spending worldwide is now devoted to food and 77% of U.S. leisure travellers (that’s 131 million tourists) are classified as food tourists. And they’re not just coming for the food. Food tourists are adventurous with 51.2% also visiting historic sites (compared to 19.4% of others) and 47.9% enjoying outdoor adventure (compared to 25.7% of others).
In light of this and taking into account the significant potential of Northern Ontario’s food offering, Tourism Northern Ontario has been partnering across Northern Ontario to further develop this exciting product.
Food tourism is defined as any tourism experience in which one learns about, appreciates and/or consumes food and drink that reflect the local, regional or national cuisine, heritage, culture, tradition or culinary techniques. There are also avid agri-tourists who travel to experience farm visits, aiming to re-connect with the natural environment and their food systems.
Over the past few years, Tourism Northern Ontario has been working with Kenora and the region, North Bay, Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie/Algoma, Temiskaming Shores and Manitoulin Island to help develop their food tourism products. With the support of the Culinary Tourism Alliance, interest in food tourism in Northern Ontario has been growing significantly and now Algoma and Sudbury are preparing to embark on developing food tourism strategies for their regions, with other communities and regions also preparing to get on board.