The way to Thai leisure travellers’ hearts is through their stomachs

Conrad Tokyo by day

Conrad Tokyo by day

Hilton Worldwide survey reveals culture of ‘culinary travel’ across Asia Pacific:

– Over a third of leisure travellers in Asia Pacific (APAC) said food and drink is the determining factor in where they choose to vacation;

– Thailand voted joint second favourite culinary destination for leisure travellers in APAC;

– 41 per cent of Thai travellers allocate up to half of their total holiday budgets for food;

– Thai travellers vote Japan as their favourite culinary destination in APAC.

Conrad Tokyo by night

Conrad Tokyo by night

BANGKOK, Thailand, 18 February 2014 –—- A survey of traveller behaviour has revealed that for over a third (36 per cent) of leisure travellers in APAC, food and drink is the critical determining factor in where they choose to travel. 

Other key findings for Thailand included:

– 34 per cent of Thailand leisure travellers said that food is a ‘critical factor’ when deciding where to visit;

– 92 per cent make a point of trying famous local dishes and street food when they travel;

– 90 per cent seek out unique culinary experiences when visiting a destination;

– 92 per cent said they would return to a destination just because of wonderful food and dining experiences.

Surveying 2,700 leisure travellers 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 travellers 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.”

Markus Schueller, vice-president for Food & Beverage Operations, Asia Pacific at Hilton Worldwide

Markus Schueller, vice-president for Food & Beverage Operations, Asia Pacific at Hilton Worldwide

Taking in responses from leisure travellers in Australia, 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 travellers when on vacation, with 90 per cent going out of their way to try famous local dishes. 87 per cent said they would seek out local street food and 79 per cent would look for culturally unique food experiences like culinary festivals and food markets when visiting a destination.

When asked to identify their favourite culinary destination in APAC, Japan topped the list with the highest number of votes from leisure travellers 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 favourite culinary destinations. Results also showed that for 19 per cent of respondents, food experiences within their home country were favoured over other destinations in the region, this included respondents from Malaysia, Indonesia, Korea, Australia and Japan. Travellers from Thailand voted Japan, followed by Thailand and Korea as their favourite culinary destinations in the region. 

When asked what they looked for in an excellent culinary destination, 49 per cent of all 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. Travellers from Thailand most valued quality, intensity of flavour and high food safety 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.”

The survey forms part of the Hilton Worldwide’s Destination Marketing campaign, an ongoing initiative to provide travellers with the best available rates to stay at Hilton Worldwide hotels and resorts in APAC.

About Hilton Worldwide

Hilton Worldwide is a leading global hospitality company, spanning the lodging sector from luxury and full-service hotels and resorts to extended-stay suites and focused-service hotels. For 94 years, Hilton Worldwide has been dedicated to continuing its tradition of providing exceptional guest experiences. The company’s portfolio of ten world-class global brands is comprised of more than 4,000 managed, franchised, owned and leased hotels and timeshare properties, with more than 665,000 rooms in 90 countries and territories, including Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Hotels, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages an award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton HHonorsTM.

[Source: Hilton]

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