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THE VACATION ADVISOR COLUMN
These 3 terms increasingly bump into one another in the realms of
contemporary travel, part of the search modern vacationers make for authentic experiences. Just in the past few months, the
Chic Collection—a book series and web site devoted in the past to portrayals of hip, luxury locations—has come
out with a new title blending eco & luxury: eco chic. Stodgy and serious publications like Scientific American have features
on "culinary ecotourism," and the places they portray don’t come cheap, including Cavallo Point Lodge in California,
a "luxury resort hotel."
in fact, drifted demonstrating that the being environmentally friendly does not contradict the attempt to have high levels
of comfort or cuisine. As the manager of the Monterey Inn in Ottawa, Canada put it in a 2009 Globe & Mail interview: "There
seems to be the stigma that if you're trying to get things environmentally friendly, you might be compromising comfort."
But that’s rapidly becoming not the case for upscale consumers—the trend, in fact, is away from green practices
being stigmatized as stingy. Instead going green can be promoted as the cutting edge of high-end travel.
Both the Relais
& Chateaux Association in Paris—arguably the collection of the world’s finest independent boutique hotels
& restaurants—and the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C. have this year chosen to emphasize the importance
of place—terroir as the French would put it—but here applied to the experience of hospitality, cuisine, tours,
and travel. The theme of the 35th annual Relais & Chateaux Congress in Biarritz, France was "Sense of Place."
The theme of the National Geographic Society’s 2009 Geotourism Challenge was "Power of Place."
Promoting a sense
of place, promoting the power in terroir, necessarily has to promote values of eco-consciousness if it is genuinely pursued
by those offering travel experiences. No matter how green its practices, a "Hilton Garden Inn" or "Courtyard
by Marriott" would never win the Geotourism Challenge. Likewise, the essence of "luxury" travel these days
has to do with experiential travel—finding unique and authentic amongst the miasma of mass travel options. To really
do this, you have to be true to the nature that surrounds you.
The importance of expressing the sense and/or power of a place is a value of increasing
importance to travel—whether it be a tour operator, a restaurant, or a hotel.
The French have long had a word for this—terroir—that
was forever applied to wine, then food, and now general experiences of a place. Terroir is the binder of eco-luxury-culinary.
Agricultural sites in the same region share similar soil, weather conditions, and farming techniques, which all contribute
to the unique qualities of the crop. It can be very loosely translated as "a sense of place," which is embodied
in certain characteristic qualities, the sum of the effects that the local environment has had on the manufacture of the product.
The concept of terroir is at the base of the French wine Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) system that has
been the model for appellation and wine laws across the globe. For winemakers, the core assumption is that the land from which
the grapes grow imparts a unique quality that is specific to and expressive of that region, zone, or plot of land (think of
the tiny patchwork plots of Burgundy, for example, and contrast them with the grand wine estates of Bordeaux).
as “luxury” becomes a hackneyed adjective and consumers may be seeking out value and authentic experiences more
than brands—the importance of terroir in applications to all sorts of things—hotels, travel, food products, destinations,
as well as wines—will come to the fore. And this implies a sense of eco-consciousness that goes beyond (but still includes)
green sensitivity and sustainable practices.The Center for Sustainable Destinations at the National Geographic Society calls
this Geotourism, which isn’t a bad term or a bad start. See: www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/sustainable/
Check out the Wikipedia entry on terroir
Trout Point Lodge & Cooking School selected
as worldwide finalist in tourism competition by National Geographic
This small wilderness resort is only one of ten in the 2009 Geotourism Challenge:
Power of Place for its entry entititled “Re-inventing a geotourism destination in Nova Scotia.” The Lodge must
now seek votes to be named the world's top innovator in geotourism.
Trout Point Lodge of Nova Scotia has received notification of its selection as one
of 10 finalists from more than 600 entries in the second annual "Geotourism Challenge" sponsored by the National
Geographic Society and Ashoka’s Changemakers. The competition, focusing on "Power of Place — Sustaining the
Future of Destinations," reaches out to identify individuals and companies worldwide that have introduced the most innovative
practices in geotourism: tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place — its environment,
culture, aesthetics, heritage and the well-being of its residents.
were received from 81 countries and represented tour operators, guide companies, hoteliers, local businesses, conservation
organizations, industry leaders and community organizers.
A distinguished panel of judges — Nobel Peace Prize
winner Dr. Wangari Maathai, founder of the Green Belt Movement; Keith Bellows, editor of National Geographic Traveler magazine;
Erika Harms, executive director of Sustainable Development, United Nations Foundation; Tony Wheeler, founder of Lonely Planet;
Ben Keene, founder of Tribewanted; and Dr. Yang Yuming, vice president of Southwest Forestry University, China — reviewed
the entries and selected Trout Point Lodge for revitalizing backwoods area of Acadian Forest through place-based immersion
experiences and the Nova Scotia Seafood Cooking School.
"The entries really address community needs, teach, entertain
and are accompanied by a lot of passion. I admire the finalists’ enthusiasm and wish them much success," said Nobel
Laureate Maathai. In a press release, the National Geographic Society called the finalists "ten of the most innovative,
sustainable travel programs around the world."
"We were truly surprised and extremely honoured by the selection,"
commented Trout Point Managing Director Vaughn Perret. The Lodge's competition entry states: "Trout Point embodies sense
of place and creates a destination experience for visitors in a way that supports and promotes the unrecognized natural, social,
and cultural riches of the Tobeatic Wilderness Area and the Southern Nova Scotia Biosphere Reserve." Co-owner Charles
Leary said: "Our entry and our efforts over the past decade have been to promote the fantastic local resources here—Acadian
French culture, the world's best seafood, great people, and amazing natural resources—as a way to define not only Trout
Point but also the entire Yarmouth & Acadian Shores area as a geotourism destination. We are very gratified that the judges
recognized these values and offerings as truly world class."he Geotourism Challenge is one of the key programs of
National Geographic’s Center for Sustainable Destinations. For more information on geotourism and destination stewardship,
The Top 5 Overlooked Luxury Vacation Experiences for 2009
- Atlantic Provinces of Canada
- Bordeaux City, Southwest France
- Granada, Andalusia, Spain
- San Sebastian, Spain
- Bocas del Toro, Panama
Atlantic Provinces of Canada
: Weave together a tapestry of pristine, uncrowded coastlines reminiscent
of Martha's Vineyard 45 years ago, an increasingly sophisticated assemblage of small luxury hotels in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick,
and Prince Edward Island, and the absolute best summer weather in the world! Our accommodation recommendations: the Kingsbrae Arms
in St. Andrews, NB, a Relais & Chateau member; Trout Point Lodge
in Nova Scotia: acclaimed worldwide for combining gourmet cuisine with wilderness finesse; and the Inn at Bay Fortune
on lovely Prince Edward Island, where you will unwind in a
beautiful seaside manor once owned by actress Colleen
Our number two selection: the City of Bordeaux
has reclaimed all of its 18th century glory and elegance.
Forget staying amongst the vignobles
! Bordeaux offers a refined, urban center surrounded by the finest vineyards
and wineries in the world. The city's facelift has revealed architectural treasures, a polite and welcoming populace, beautiful
parks, promenades, and plazas, and a pleasant selection of restaurants, wine shops (of course) and cafes. Where to stay?
Les Sources de Caudalie
, a 49 room luxury hotel with two restaurants and a "vinotherapie"spa amidst the blanlieu of Bordeaux, which are at the same
time the historic vineyards of Pessac-Léognan; or to be in the center of it all, the brand-new SAS Grand Hotel
, across from the Grand Théatre, with all rooms designed by the world-famous Jacques Garcia.
Conde Nast Johansens: A truly reliable guide to independent travel
Johansens only invites the best for its hotel
guide, so travelers experience only the best.
Condé Nast Johansens is the one of the most
comprehensive hotel guides with an illustrated reference to annually inspected, independently owned prestigious accommodation
and meetings venues throughout the world.
It is Johansens objective to maintain the trust of
hotel guide users by recommending annually inspected hotels and spas. Johansens careful choice of accommodation offers:
Quality,Excellent Service and Value for Money
Nast has a team of over 50 dedicated Regional Inspectors visit thousands of hotels, country houses, inns, spas and resorts
throughout 60 countries to select only the very best for recommendation in our Guides.
The Condé Nast Johansens Awards for Excellence are made annually
to those properties worldwide that represent the finest standards and best value for money in luxury and independent accommodation.
For more information about Condé Nast Johansens, or to know more about the prestigious
hotel properties and meetings venues published in its hotel guides and website please visit www.johansens.com.
The freedom to be luxe: independent luxury hotel groups
The difference between, say,
a Four Seasons or Orient Express hotel and one belonging to a hotel group like Relais & Chateaux or Conde Nast Johansens
is simple enough: the former are chain hotels—luxurious or not—while at the latter innkeepers independently own
and manage the properties, providing for a distinction in the hospitality and guest experience.
Unlike chains -- which
often impose uniformity in terms of service, food, and ambiance as a branding exercise -- the marketing groups seek out individuality,
not conformity, and promote it as a virtue. For the traveler, that can mean a much richer and more diverse lodging experience—the
spice of life!
Relais & Chateaux ranks as the Grande Dame of independent hotel associations, arguably the finest
and most prestigious collection of boutique hotels and gourmet restaurants in the world. At last count, Relais members have
more than 350 Michelin stars between them. Established in France in 1954, the Association’s mission is to spread its
unique art de vivre across the globe by selecting outstanding properties with a truly unique character. Furthermore,
Relais & Châteaux is also a family of hoteliers and Grands Chefs from all over the world who share a passion for,
and a personal commitment to, ensuring their guests are privy to moments of exceptional harmony. From the vineyards
in Napa valley to the beaches in Bali, from the olive trees in Provence to the lodges in South Africa, Relais & Châteaux
offers a chance to explore the Route du Bonheur and discover a special place in a variety of destinations. The Relais
& Châteaux signature reflects this ambition: “ALL AROUND THE WORLD, UNIQUE IN THE WORLD.”
rising star for independent hotel groups in North America—though long a more established marker of high quality accommodations
in the United Kingdom—is Conde Nast Johansens, which publishes a glossy, large-format guide each year and of course
features a searchable web site. Each Johansens property is inspected not only upon admission, but also each and every year
by a team of specialized inspectors. Johansens specializes in eliminating the cookie-cutter type hotels from its roster, and
seeks to promote unique properties for the independent traveler. It is also the only group to carry the prestigious Conde
Nast name, as the Johansens program was taken over by the London travel publisher's home office several years ago.
independent luxury groups include Small Luxury Hotels of the World, based on England, which emphasizes luxurious accommodation
without necessarily having the same importance on cuisine and art de vivre as Relais. Rusticae is a grouping for Spain and
Portugal, while Chateaux & Hotels (whose president is super chef Alain Ducasse) focuses mainly on France but also has
members in Italy and Spain. An up-and-coming group that emphasizes eco-friendliness is Canticum Hotels: Eco-luxury. Many groups,
like Relais & Chateaux do not allow their members to joing other groups. Conde Nast Johansens features worldwide properties
and includes members of other groups like Relais & Chateaux (by special arrangement) or Preferred Boutique. Finally, a
North American specialist for upscale Bed & Breakfasts and well as inns and small luxury hotels is Select Registry, which
focuses on Canada as well as the United States. The Mr. & Mrs Smith Guide (see above) now covers individually-selected
boutique hotels around the globe.
- Relais & Chateaux: French aesthetics, the highest standards,
and an emphasis on dining and art de vivre
- Conde Nast Johansens: unique properties attractive to independent travelers
Hotels: eco-friendly and luxe
- Select Registry: North American inns & B&Bs of character
- Rusticae: charming
hotels of Spain & Portugal
- Chateaux & Hotels: character properties in Franch, Italy, and Spain
Boutique: upscale independant properties around the world
- Small Luxury Hotels of the World: the pre-eminent boutique
hotel group in the world
Next time you're planning a super pampering getaway, be sure to include the independent
luxury hotel groups in your designs.
Eat this: food and games for the truly adventurous.
bulrushes on the menu? Uh huh. In an old-is-new-again reversal, ‘wildcrafting’ makes a comeback in Canada.
By Kate Zimmerman
Tramping through Nova Scotia’s Tobeatic Wilderness Area, melodic
birdsong as your soundtrack, you’re keeping your eyes peeled. It’s not so much wildlife you’re after, but
rich patches of black trumpet mushrooms, Indian cucumber root, ripe blueberries and elderberry flowers. Your mission: hit
pay dirt on the foodie scavenger hunt known as “wildcrafting” — that old-fashioned, reborn trend of harvesting
plants in the wild.
As you pick, you catch a fragrant whiff of spruce smoke. It reminds you that
at some point in your cooking adventure, at the haute-rustic nature retreat called Trout Point Lodge in Nova Scotia,
you’ll learn how to cold-smoke your own salmon, swordfish, scallops and tuna in an outdoor wooden smokehouse. Then,
perhaps, you’ll whip it into a finnan haddie jambalaya or some other Acadian-cum-Cajun specialty, à la
seafood gumbo. Between canoeing excursions on the Tusket River, dips in the wood-fired hot tub and stints in the outdoor cedar
sauna, you’ll also learn to make cheese. It’s no wonder Condé Nast’s online Concierge.com named this
lodge 2007’s second-best place in the entire world for a cooking vacation. (Trout Point also just snagged the Parks
Canada Sustainable Tourism Award for Nova Scotia.) www.troutpoint.com
Wildcrafting here is by no means confined to Nova Scotia, of course. Anywhere you pluck a few
dandelion greens on a roadside for salad, you’re wildcrafting. In bogs and berry patches, on beaches and front lawns,
anywhere really, in Canada, it’s spreading like — well, like fiddleheads* on Canada’s east and west coast.
For a sample, try A la Table des Jardins Sauvages in Quebec’s St. Roch de l’Achigan, run by avid wildcrafter
Francois Brouillard. There, foraged treats such as game, bulrushes and wild plants — which could include the baby cattails
chef Nancy Hinton grinds up to make savoury crepes — morph into weekend gastronomic dinners each fall. In the fall,
mushrooms (“shaggy mane” grows like crazy here) star in fungi-focused, seven-course extravaganzas. Who knew the
larch boletus, for instance, infuses a chocolate dessert with sweetness and a soupçon of mocha? www.jardinssauvages.com.
their annual conference on December 17 in Biarritz, France, members from Relais & Châteaux – an international
association of 475 hotels and gourmet restaurants in 55 countries – committed to a sustainable seafood policy formed
of six key principles. Olivier Roellinger, the recently appointed Vice President of the organization, called on his colleagues
worldwide to recognize the major role they can play in protecting marine resources, via their role as trend setters through
the choice of species they choose to serve to customers. The principles that the members signed includes the commitment to
remove Mediterranean bluefin tuna from their menus as of January 1, to stop serving endangered species and to communicate
their sustainability choices to their guests and customers.
Learn more about Relais & Châteaux Chefs commitment>
Leaders of the World's Best Hotels Join Five Star Alliance's New Editorial Advisory Board
Top executives at the world's most prominent hotels have formed even closer partnerships with
Five Star Alliance, the leading online travel agency and information site for luxury hotels. The new initiative will help
the hundreds of thousands of affluent travelers reached by Five Star Alliance each month find and book the ideal luxury
Five Star Alliance (http://www.FiveStarAlliance.com) is the leading online travel agency focused exclusively on luxury
hotels. The company's web site includes the world's most comprehensive collection of luxury hotels, along with exclusive information,
recommendations and photographs. Clients from around the world can search and book the world's finest hotels through an intuitive,
custom booking engine. Five Star Alliance clients receive immediate confirmation and personal service.
The company has formed close partnerships with dozens of luxury hotels around the world, including the Hotel de Crillon
in Paris, New York's Carlyle Hotel, the Burj al Arab in Dubai, One Aldwych in London, and The Hay-Adams in Washington, DC.
than twenty CEOs, General Managers, and influential leaders of the world's best luxury hotels have joined Five Star Alliance's
new Editorial Advisory Board. These prominent executives have formed close relationships with Five Star Alliance, the leading
online travel agency focused exclusively on luxury hotels. The Editorial Advisory Board will help Five Star Alliance customers
find and book the ideal luxury hotel.
Editorial Advisory Board members, including Mr. Jonathan
Critchard, GM of the Athenaeum Hotel in London, and Mr. James McBride, General Manager of The Carlyle in New York, will deliver
exclusive news and offers directly to affluent travelers via the Five Star Alliance web site (http://www.FiveStarAlliance.com),
blog, and email newsletters. The hundreds of thousands of luxury travelers reached each month by Five Star Alliance will now
have a unique opportunity to hear directly from the leaders of the world's best hotels.
Julie A. Skrei of the new billion dollar Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa in Las Vegas, for example, recently highlighted the
"coolest" features of her property on Five Star Alliance's blog: The Informed Traveler. Within one week, Five Star Alliance
delivered over $14,000 in reservations to her property.
Mr. Hans Bruland, GM of The Hay-Adams
in Washington, DC, and a founding Editorial Advisory Board member, notes that, "As an independent luxury hotel, Five Star
Alliance has given us exposure to a worldwide audience of affluent travelers that we could not have reached on our own."
the Hon. Michael J. Winfield, President & CEO of Cambridge Beaches in Bermuda, Five Star Alliance supplements his own
promotion of the unique property. "Renowned worldwide as one of the most romantic and welcoming resorts in Bermuda, Cambridge
Beaches strives to market itself to the world's most discerning travelers. Through our enhanced Partner listing on Five Star
Alliance, we have been able to successfully promote the unique personality of our property, and drive new business that we
would not otherwise have found," he said.
A recent sample of interesting, fun and useful news
from the Editorial Advisory Board, such as recipes from top chefs and the advance word on special offers, can be found on
The Informed Traveler: http://traveler.FiveStarAlliance.com/index.php/category/editorial-advisory- board
Founding members of the Five Star Alliance Editorial Advisory Board include executives from
the Hotel de Crillon in Paris, The Carlyle in New York, The Whitehall Hotel in Chicago, The Hay-Adams in Washington, DC, The
Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver, Peter Island Resort in Jamaica, Athenaeum Hotel and Apartments in London, Half Moon Rose Hall
in Jamaica, Sungate Port Royal in Turkey, The Regency New York, and Cambridge Beaches in Bermuda. Also represented by top
executives are Small Luxury Hotels of the World, the Majestic Hotel Group, Maybourne Hotel Group, Station Casinos, Proximo
Restaurants, and Red Carnation Hotels.
BOOK REVIEW: The Trout Point Lodge Cookbook: Creole Cuisine From New Orleans to Nova Scotia
Abel, Charles Leary, and Vaughn Perret
The three co-authors of the book come from vastly different backgrounds-Leary, for example, has a Ph.D. in modern Chinese
history-but all are foodies at heart. As the trio became friends, they began to explore the roots of their passion, specifically
in Louisiana, where Abel and Perret grew up. The more they sought the finer elements of Cajun cuisine, the more they found
that indigenous delicacies (Creole Cream Cheese, for example) and venerated methodologies like "bayou venturing" for wild
edibles had gone out of practice. Urbanization and the unrelaxed pace of modernity had sapped the Big Easy of its culinary
In an attempt to revive what had been lost, the three men set out to build a sanctuary where they could combine Old World
principles with New World products. It started as the Chicory Farm and the Chicory Farm Café, gained extensive recognition,
then grew into The Trout Point Lodge after a trip to Acadia, Nova Scotia, near where the Lodge stands today. It serves as
a restaurant, cooking school, and vacation resort.
Most good cookbooks have some kind of hook, or gimmick. Here, something deeper is at work: sociological and historical
exploration, and renewal, through savory, accessible French-Creole cooking. The lush landscape photography by Wayne Barrett
will tempt readers to keep The Trout Point Lodge Cookbook on their coffee tables. But it will inevitably find its
way into the kitchen, where it will take chefs better than a country mile from shrimp-and-gumbo (one recipe is titled "Perfect
Risotto"), to savor exotic food at its finest. (Courtesy the Kenyon College Alumni Bulletin)
Airlines sign deal for a healthier environment
May 9, 2008 Rival aircraft manufacturers Airbus and Boeing put aside their differences and signed an agreement to work
together to cut the impact of air traffic on the environment, according to the Daily Times of Pakistan.
The rare cooperation
between the European and American giants was announced of the third aviation and environment summit in Geneva, where leading
industry groups made a commitment to work against pollution.
Both the US and Europe are currently looking at developing
new generation air traffic management systems that would bring them up to speed with the more advanced technologies onboard
"We need to make the air traffic management system inter-operable in both the US and Europe," said Eric Stefanello,
senior vice president of air traffic management at Airbus.
Such a move could result in a reduction of 10-12 percent
in carbon emissions from the aviation sector in Europe alone. "Airbus and Boeing are committed to action. The fact that we
are sitting here today despite the highly competitive nature of our business demonstrates and underscores the joint commitment
to addressing and helping solve the environmental challenges facing our industry," said Scott Carson, president and chief
executive of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
Both Airbus and Boeing also joined other industry leaders, including the
head of international airline body IATA at the summit, to sign a declaration to adopt several strategies against pollution.
declaration signed by 13 organizations acknowledged that the industry has a responsibility for the environment. The declaration
commits the industry to the development and application of new technologies, to fuel efficiency, improvement of air routes,
traffic management and airport infrastructure.
The signatories also committed themselves to a reduction of gas emissions.
Review: Vueling makes the grade
MADRID (February 25, 2007) A last-minute reservation on the new Vueling air for a flight from Madrid to Granada
in Spain proved mostly uneventful--a good thing for a new, low-cost airline.
Booking online was easy, and the confirmation e-mail message arrived rapidly as promised. The price, though not
ultra cheap, was much less expensive than any competitor, such as SpanAir or Iberia.
Flught leave Madrid from the same ultra-modern terminal--T4--as Iberia, making connections with the flag carrier
or other One World airlines easy.
The only hitch: the flight was delayed by about 40 minutes, and the ground personnel had no information about its status.
Boarding was orderly. The planes are brand-new. Legroom is very sllight, but survivable for short flights. Crew members
Upon landing, baggage appeared within 5 minutes! This is unprecedented, with Iberia flights typically taking 20-40 minutes
for baggage delivery, even in small airports.
Time will tell how Vueling "fares," but this initial impression bodes well.
Trout Point Lodge of Nova Scotia selected for inclusion in EcoChic, new title from
Editions Didier Millet
Along with Clayquot Wilderness Resort in B.C., the Lodge counts among only 2 properties
in Canada selected for the new collection of eco-friendly & stylish destinations.
Kemptville, Nova Scotia Trout Point Lodge
announces that is among just 2 Canadian hotels selected for inclusion in the forthcoming book EcoChic, part of the
Chic Collection published by Editions Didier Millet. The other is the Clayquot Wilderness Resort in British Columbia. Each
selected property was chosen for combining style and comfort of international caliber with eco-friendly practices. The books
is the 17th in the Chic Collection series, which also has an accompanying web site, www.chiccollection.com.
Book editor and eco-tourism consultant Pascal Languillon
stated that Trout Point was chosen because of its “wonderful efforts to preserve the environment” combined with
the Lodge's “great beauty.”
Other properties worldwide that will appear in the book
include the Four Seasons Golden Triangle in Thailand, the Anatara Resort in the Maldives, Australia's Paperbark Camp, and
Six Senses Hideaway Zighy Bay of Oman.
Trout Point is located adjacent to the
Tobeatic Wilderness Area along the Tusket River in the Yarmouth & Acadian Shores tourism region of Nova Scotia. The 8-room
Great Lodge is among just a handful of properties to have a 5 Green Key rating from the Hotel Association of Canada's ECOmmodation
program. The Lodge and cottages have a 4.5 star rating from Canada Select and are also inspected and recommended by Conde
For more information on the Chic Collection,
Comprehensive Culinary Travel Survey Provides Insights on Food and Wine Travelers
First-Ever Report by Travel Industry Association, Gourmet and International Culinary Tourism Association Identifies, Defines
and Profiles Culinary Tourist Segments
NEW YORK, Feb. 14, 2007/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ A first-of-its-kind national survey on the popular culinary travel
niche market shows that 27 million travelers, or 17% of American leisure travelers, engaged in culinary or wine- related activities
while traveling within the past three years, based on a new report from the Travel Industry Association (TIA), in partnership
with Gourmet and the International Culinary Tourism Association and released today at a press conference in New York City.
The future is bright for the culinary traveler market, as the share of U.S. leisure travelers interested in culinary travel
in the near future (60%) is significantly larger than those currently engaged. These travelers are younger, more affluent
and better educated than non- culinary travelers. They are clearly motivated by unique experiences, reinforcing the benefits
of focusing on a destination's individual environmental and cultural elements. The survey was conducted by Edge Research among
a representative sample of 2,364 U.S. leisure travelers.
"The study demonstrates that a sizable proportion of the U.S. leisure market does indeed make travel decisions based on
a desire for wine and culinary experiences. In fact, it confirms that wine and culinary experiences are a driver of destination
choice," said Laura Mandala, Vice President of Research for the Travel Industry Association.
Culinary activities participated in while traveling include cooking classes, dining out for a unique and memorable experience,
visiting farmers markets, gourmet food shopping and attending food festivals. Wine activities included participating in winery
tours, driving a wine trail, tasting locally made wines and attending wine festivals.
"These travelers are also more likely to take local foods and wines back home with them, providing a secondary opportunity
for destinations to spread the word about their unique offerings," said Mandala.
The study also provided in-depth data about what is being called the "serious" culinary traveler, one who intentionally
seeks out wine and food experiences while traveling. These serious culinary travelers are significantly different from other
types of travelers, which has implications for any travel providers' strategy and marketing. Serious culinary travelers are
more likely to shop, visit state and national parks and museums; specifically choose a destination to experience local culture
and cuisine and read epicurean magazines, as well as publications such as Newsweek.
"These differences suggest that this segment of the market may be responsive to travel packages that focus on the uniqueness
of the destination and local food, wine and environment," said Catherine Makk, Executive Marketing Director for Gourmet. "It
also suggests that travel providers and destinations should work together to offer immersion into the local culture, through
not only wine and cuisine but also the hotel experience, leisure activities and more."
The fact that serious culinary travelers read highly specialized publications that cater to their interests confirms that
magazines remain a viable channel for reaching this travel segment. The study showed a slight majority of culinary travelers
who participate in just food-related activities while traveling, with one-in-ten leisure travelers (10%), or 16 million Americans,
reporting having done so. Another one-in-ten (9.4%), or 15 million Americans, participate in just wine-related activities.
About 4 million leisure travelers participated in both food and wine activities. On average, food travelers spend $1,194 per
trip, with over one-third (36% or $425) of their travel budget going towards food-related activities. Those considered to
be "deliberate" food travelers (culinary activities were the key reason for trip) tend to spend a significantly higher dollar
amount of their overall travel budget on food-related activities ($1,271 average trip cost; $593 or 50% spent on food-related
Wine travelers spend, on average, $973 per trip, with about one-fourth (23% or $219) of their travel budget going towards
wine-specific activities. Those considered to be "deliberate" wine travelers spend more of their overall travel budget on
wine-related activities ($950 average trip cost; $339 or 36% spent on wine-related activities).
"Culinary Tourism has reached the tipping point as a niche and an industry. Unique food and drink are the perfect attractions,
especially for second and tertiary destinations that now must market more proactively in the globally competitive market,"
said Erik Wolf, President and CEO of the International Culinary Tourism Association. "It's also the perfect tool for economic
and community development because visitors fly, buy and try new food and drink and look for it when they return home, helping
boost value-added food and drink exports. Every community should be looking for ways to promote its unique food and drink
For information on purchasing the survey, interested parties should contact Valerie Hutchinson, TIA, 202-218-3630 or email@example.com.
TIA is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the $703 billion travel industry. TIA's mission
is to represent the whole of the U.S. travel industry to promote and facilitate increased travel to and within the United
The new Canticum Hotels Group takes shape
The Canticum Hotels Group of Canticum, S.A. (Costa Rica) has revamped its merbserrship and prestigious image, but with
a twist: sustainable luxury.
The hotels group provides marketing and booking services to a select group of small hotels, inns, and villa/vacation
rentals including properties in Canada, Spain, Turkey, and Costa Rica.
The new eco-friendly image is backed up by requirements that member hotels demonstrate the use of specific sustainable
practices in their day-to-day operations without loosing sight of luxury treatment for guests. The Group makes the point that
luxury travel and sustainable travel are not antithetical.
For example, Trout Point Lodge of Nova Scotia publishes a list of committments to the environment, and has received a
high rating from the Hotel Association of Canada's ECOmmodation program. At the same time, the ecolodge has received the highest
rating possible from Frommer's guides.
Another example, the Inn at Coyote Mountain has merited inclusion in Travel & Leisure magazine's 2007 book The
World's Greatest Hotels, Resorts, & Spas in yet has also received praise from Lonely Planet, Green Places to
Stay, and ethicalescape.com for its eco-practices.
The company looks to attract the market of those wealthy and exclusive travellers who also care about the environmental
impact of their vacations.
Elegant Small Hotels tops for small luxury hotel finds
Now in its 21st year, this connoisseurs' favorite presents many of the great boutique hotels of the world especially
to enhance your travel enjoyment. These properties' hallmarks include exquisitely appointed guestrooms and suites, inspired
architecture, luxurious ambience, amazing amenities and personal service par excellence. The associated web site is www.elegantsmallhotel.com
This gorgeous guidebook encompasses 246 grand luxe hotels, city center hotels, outstanding resorts, affordable elegance,
wonderful country inns and luxurious historic hotels. Each has been hand-selected and the detailed information included gives
travel readers a glimpse of the little touches that separate these exceptional properties from merely first class. Many of
these properties are also members of prestigious hotel groups such as Canticum Hotels Group
or Relais & Chateaux
or have received AAA 4-diamond awards.
The amazing cover property for the 21st edition is The Luna Hotel Baglioni
, Venice’s oldest Hotel located right behind St. Mark’s Square. A private mooring-berth enables gondolas and motorboats
to reach the entrance of the Hotel. In the days of the Templars, the Hotel was known as the Locanda della Luna (“The
Moonlight Tavern”) and would offer travellers a comfortable shelter. Now, more than eight centuries later, it is still
committed to the same cause: the Luna Hotel Baglioni carries on a tradition made of class, comfort and refined elegance.
Elegant Small Hotels - A Connoisseur's Guide
21st Edition by Pamela Lanier
pages including color inserts
Yahoo Internet Life Magazine has just reviewed TravelGuideS.com and said
that Elegant Small Hotels is THE source for "Luxury Digs and Inn-timate Getaways". This ties in well with the TIA report,
which found that 74% of adults surveyed favor romance related travel. Both are great news for our member properties! In other
media, TechTV did a special feature segment for business travelers on Elegant Small Hotels and www.TravelGuides.com.
book includes the world's finest grand luxe hotels, resorts and country inns."
~ International Travel News
great hotel in this guide is unique."
~ Hideaways International
"Elegant Small Hotels contains all the information
you will need to select the right hotel experience … the hotels described in this book are ideal for the discriminating
~ Grandtimes.com (Internet Magazine)
News, Reviews, and Perspective on the Art and Business of Travel
Copyright 2007, Abel, Perret, & Leary, LLC