Eat while traveling on cuisine-focused adventures

What we eat while traveling has always been a big part of a memorable trip. A recent survey by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism says 71% of Americans participated in at least one culinary activity while on an out-of-town trip and that activity was one of the most significant travel experiences of the vacation. Now, cuisine-focused adventures offered by travel agencies are making menus much more than a souvenir.

“With interest in local cuisines growing thanks to the success of popular television shows like the Travel Channel’s Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, gastronomic adventures are overtaking itineraries among gourmets and casual diners alike,” said travel service company Amadeus in a recent newsletter.

Noting trending travel requests and getting the information out to travel agencies who want to be prepared with their offerings, Amadeus sent along information about a variety of food-oriented travel packages.

Taste-full tours
Travel agencies are creating itineraries that include tours of wineries, food and wine events, festivals, cooking classes, cruises with guest chefs and more so travelers can experience the unique flavor of a particular geographic region or city.

Learn to cook on a cruise
On cruise lines, dining has always been a big part of the experience. Now, many lines have gone beyond buffets to offer culinary-themed voyages. Holland America’s Culinary Arts Center and Oceania Cruises’ Bon Appetit Culinary Center are floating cooking schools where passengers get up-close and personal instruction from chefs on the ship.

A side order of history
“Culinary tourism offers foodies a taste of history with experiences such as the Tasting Tour of the French Quarter in which the rich New Orleans food culture comes alive,”adds Amadeus. “After experiencing a historical walking tour, travelers visit the city’s famous eateries such as Antoine’s and Tujague’s, both established in the 1800s.”

Chocoholics unite
Die-hard chocolate addicts will want to experience the Swiss Chocolate Train and visit the Cailler-Nestle factory and tasting room at Broc, Switzerland. In the U.S., life doesn’t get much sweeter than the town of Hershey, Pa., or the Ghiradelli Chocolate Factory in San Francisco.

Cooking on all burners
Culinary travelers want to take home practical knowledge of how to prepare the foods they’ve discovered and can sign up for cooking classes, such as the weeklong Culinary and Art Adventure in Provence with Chef Philippe Gion. Participants go home with a personalized cookbook of dishes they’ve learned during the week.

Trips and tours with special, focused themes like the food-oriented travel options listed here won’t be found on a click-to-buy website. A qualified travel agency, specializing in food-oriented travel packages is the place to look for these and other themed travel options.

Flickr photo by Jeff Kubina

Futuristic travel more down to earth, collaborative says study

Thoughts of futuristic travel often bring images of commercial low-earth orbit flights, man on Mars or rediscovering the Moon. A new study highlights real-world programs and technology being developed right now that is much more common, affecting us all.

By 2020, all airports will be paperless and bags will be electronically tagged, according to the From Chaos to Collaboration report released this week by Amadeus, a leading provider of IT solutions to the travel and tourism industry Just eight years from now, the report says, travelers will be using fingerprint boarding passes and eye-scanning passports.

“We wanted to avoid making techno-centric assumptions about the future of travel – and painting a picture of flying cars and intelligent robots in a world that is otherwise unchanged from today,” Andrew Curry, director and co-author The Futures Company told Travelmole.
New technological innovation should take the stress out of travel, leaving passengers with nothing to remember and the ability to track the location of luggage at any time. Using fingerprints to check in is hoped to reduce or eliminate the lengthy queues and delays in manual check-in.

In the not too distant future, travelers will cruise through customs and immigration with just a scan of their retina…or a chip implanted in their arm.

“If you talk to a technologist they will tell you it’s perfectly possible to have a chip in your arm, or use facial recognition technology and walk on to a plane or a vehicle without checking in,” Tim Jones, a technology consultant, said in the report. “But it seems as if the regulators or border- control staff are intent on adding extra layers of security, rather than removing them.”

Coming up too, passengers will be able to use virtual tour guides to visit sites of interest through the same principles as gaming on smart phones and computers.

It’s all about harnessing technology to make travel in the future simpler and more efficient, “shifting focus from satisfying the needs and wants of individual travelers to providing the environment for networks and flows of travelers as a group to move and flourish” says the report.

“We hope that this study will challenge, provoke and stimulate thinking around how we will all be traveling in the future” added Curry.

Flickr photo by timo_w2s

Extreme Travel Search: coming soon to a travel agency near you

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could go on line and ask “I have $500. Where can I go and what can I do for that?” then get a nice selection of options? New search technology being tested right now is going to be able to do just that on line soon with an extreme travel search we could only have dreamed of not all that long ago.

Amadeus, a leading travel technology company for the global travel and tourism industry commissioned an international research organization to investigate the way that travelers book and search on-line. The study charged Amadeus to develop technological innovation that would engage and effectively serve the needs of the next generation traveler. Basically, it looks like someone finally came up with a search product that will let travelers ask open questions in real-time such as “where can I go on a beach holiday in Europe for less than 600 euros per person?”

Travelers will no longer need to enter origin and destination information, but can inspire their search by budget, type of activity or geography all on a single page and receive relevant responses immediately.
“Amadeus Extreme Search provides our customers with intuitive and efficient options where users can explore and determine their trip based on their holiday requirements.” Johan Elwin, Director of Business Development at European Travel Interactive who is piloting the program told “The ability to inspire the traveler to search easily in the same way they think, with quality content, gives us a considerable competitive edge and serves the interests of today’s traveler.”

The underlying technology, leveraging the Amadeus Massive Computation Platform, processes billions of results based on the traveler’s query. The traveler receives practically instant results which are based on real-time availability and price. Unlike any other on the market, this multi-carrier solution provides the most exhaustive and complete choice of options (including more than 440 airlines), which are bookable and accurate over multiple destinations and during a full calendar year.

“Extreme Search is the natural evolution of today’s consumer practices, overthrowing established search methods based on destinations and dates” said Stephane Durand, Director Online & Leisure, Amadeus.

It looks like one-stop shopping too thanks to Amadeus Master Pricer, the comprehensive low-fare search and merchandising solution for online travel agencies and online sites of travel agencies, the shopping process is seamlessly integrated into the booking flow, including the purchase of the trip on the same website.

To get a feel for how it will work, check Lufthansa’s Trip Finder option that allows you to enter a starting airport location and a dollar budget amount then see were you can go for that price. The idea is about the same. Lufthansa was the launch partner of the airline version of the product.

So now, when you see these new intuitive options on your favorite travel search sites, you know where they came from.

Flickr photo by Identity Photogr@phy

Related Stories