Experiencing local culture through cuisine is a key trend in the luxury travel world, according to International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) Asia which sets the scene for high-end travel agents to plan 2013 itineraries, when it takes place in Shanghai, 4 - 7 June 2012.
With luxury travellers constantly seeking newer, exciting and different experiences from all four corners of the world, much will be made of gastronomic experiences at ILTM Asia 2012.
“Chinese consumers believe learning about regional cuisine and local culture – both in Asia and beyond – is now one of the greatest ways of discovering and experience a country,” commented Tony Liu of Dragon Blaze Journeys.
Brent Wallace from Fairflights/Riche Hotels & Resorts in Australia agrees, “Australian travellers are foodies through and through, nothing is more exciting than sampling a new palate.”
From Asia, ‘Luxe India’, a member of ‘XO Private’, will profile its newly designed trip that explores India through the palate, highlighting this as the only way to truly understand this country of contradictions. Luxe India’s tour begins in Delhi and led by a noted food enthusiast, unravels the history and culture behind the traditional cuisine of Delhi, with a visit to the famous off beat joints of Old Delhi and to savour the house specialities.
‘Anantara Mui Ne Resort & Spa’, on the south-east coast of Vietnam, offers luxury guests an abundance of dining opportunities. The resort’s four restaurants serve everything from homemade pho to freshly caught and grilled sea crab and Western dishes. Wine connoisseurs can sample wines paired with cheeses and a charcuterie in The Wine Room. Those taken with Vietnamese cuisine – and it’s hard not to be – can take cookery lessons with the hotel’s chef.
More European palates need look no further than first time ILTM participant, Spanish experts ‘Plenia Spain’. The four day Asturian experience includes sampling local cider, a plate of pungent Cabrales cheese at a local cheese-makers, savouring a regional seafood dish at a fishing village on the coast, going to a rula – the traditional fish auction – visiting a bee farm or lingering over traditional Asturian food in the region’s most prestigious and acclaimed restaurants.
The historic vineyard of ‘Château de Mercuès’, home of the great Malbec wines of Cahors, France is a Relais & Chateaux 13th century castle revealed at ILTM Asia. With wine tours that begin on the terrace of the medieval castle overlooking the Lot Valley, travellers can also savour seasonal local haute cuisine – the chef’s specials are black Lalbenque truffles, saffron and Quercy lamb.
Moving to the increasingly popular continent of South America, ‘Aqua Expeditions’ has blended the popularity of cruising with gastronomy, combining Amazon River Cruising with gourmet Peruvian cuisine. Peru is enjoying the spotlight as Latin America’s most acclaimed foodie capital with a 500-year melting pot of Spanish, African, Japanese and Chinese immigration and native Quechua culture. Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino spoils guests with his innovative local dishes and has now created a cookbook: ‘From the Kitchens of Aqua Expeditions’.
Patagonia is also literally the flavour of the moment and ILTM Asia is delighted to welcome ‘Los Cauquenes Resort & Spa’, taking part with ‘Small Luxury Hotels of the World’. Set on the shores of Beagle Channel in Tierra del Fuego Los Cauquenes’ cuisine incorporates the best of local produce to introduce a world of new and intense aromas and flavours to stimulate senses and create innovative cuisine.