Eating together is fun!

Gastronomic tourism becomes a usual thing for big cities but, for Russia, that needs more good economic conditions for its success.

Day by day, food festivals are more popular than before, and, moreover, they are a good chance to attract tourists into cities. Cultural events which are especially related to food and drinks are more often integrated into plans of a city promotion. Due to the sociological surveys people are ready to go abroad to get acquainted with its national cuisine and become a part of that festival. Usually these festivals include interactive master classes which turn guests into participants.

The specialists of have held a research and found out that tourists prefer gastronomic or wine tours more than other author tours. Over 2,000 people took part in a survey. 21 per cent of participants chose a gastronomic trip. A mountain tour stands on the second place (18%), and the third place was taken by an education tour (11%).

In May a big festival of street food will be held in Landschaftspark of Duisburg, an Asian Oktoberfest – in Qingdao, and nine-day Kroger’s Kentucky Derby Festival Fest-a-Ville Food & Beverage in Louisville which will be held less early – in April. In Sicily food festivals take place in almost each city. For example, COUS COUS in San Vito Lo Capo, SHERBET in Palermo, ChocoModica in Modica and SICILY FOOD in Cefalù.

Last summer under the Perm Festival Genius of the Place there were several gastronomic routes round the city. Now the future developing of this idea is being discussed. According to the opinion of a Perm restaurateur Nikolay Kanischev, that branch cannot develop successfully without the government support. “Except for Moscow and Saint Petersburg, Russian tourists fly to Kazan, Sochi, separate cities of Siberia. In many ways, this is a merit of the local administrations” – says Mr. Kanischev.

Christian Vassalo, an organizer of cultural events from Agrigento, tells that organizers don’t see any strong support of these events from the government and they don’t rely on that. “The administration can give a place for a festival, but nothing more. More often we take help from individuals or organizations which become sponsors of the festival” – noticed Mr. Vassalo.

According to Maria Lyamina, a specialist in event tourism sphere, today the topic of food is occupying an important place in the development of the touristic industry. “If the different sides of the process start to unite thus strengthening each other, gastronomic tourism will have perspectives” – thinks Maria Lyamina.

Russian restaurateurs who take the organizing of food festivals have a lot of difficulties. A low level of people’s mobility doesn’t provide festivals with a necessary amount of participants. As a result, projects become commercially successful with help of a city budget only. Experts say that the situation can be changed because of a growth of the Russian economy, and then the local gastronomic tourism will get a chance not in Moscow and Saint Petersburg only, but also in other cities, like Perm.