The U.S. Travel Association recently reported that international arrivals are forecasted to increase by 5.2 percent this year. Business travel is anticipated to rise by 2.6 percent, and leisure travel will have a growth rate of 1.6 percent. Such information allowed industry experts to project a promising forecast for restaurants this year. Consumers are said to be spending more money on tourism and dining this summer despite all that’s been going on with the country’s economy.
“Tourism trends are improving and that’s pretty good news for restaurant operators and their apron-clad servers,” said Hudson Riehle, the National Restaurant Association’s Research and Knowledge senior vice president. “It’s been noted that $1 of every $3 of restaurant revenue is related to tourism.”
This pronouncement was substantiated by a recent study that was done by PhoCusWright, a hospitality/travel marketing Research Company based in Sherman, Conn. The study also pointed out that U.S. leisure travel is increasing, with 32% of respondents declaring that they intend to travel more this year, as opposed to the 14% who signified that they wouldn’t. 29% claims that they have it in mind to spend more on vacations.
June was said to be a good month for restaurants in California, according to Jot Condie, the California Restaurant Association’s president and chief executive. “Visitors to our state spent $23 billion on food and beverage last year, particularly on the cities with a lot of tourism, like Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Francisco.” He believes that one factor which contributed to the boost in tourism is California’s growing reputation as an ideal culinary destination.
“If in the older days tourists wanted to come to California to see the Yosemite or the Golden Gate Bridge, now, they are more enthusiastic in visiting the French Laundry or travel around some wineries,” he said. “Such trend appears to be spreading, thanks to the pop culture that has been around dining places, food magazines and the Food Network. “
New York’s restaurateurs are also gaining from their city’s augmented tourism, according to Andrew Rigie, the New York State Restaurant Association’s executive vice president. “New York City’s restaurant industry makes it a leading tourist destination.”
One reason why tourists spend during their travels is to maximize their rest and relaxation time. They don’t mind spending for quality dining, for as long as they get to eat good food, relax and take a break from their daily routine at home. Their minds are conditioned to spend, so they don’t mind paying.
And culinary tourism is becoming a rage these days. People want to do more than take vacations and travel—they seek cultural education too, which is provided in part by the experience of tasting a local cuisine.
To attract tourists to your restaurant, experts advise that you need to develop your unique selling point (USP), offering yourself as a unique place to dine. An innovative theme, exhibition cooking by chefs in their apron, and a one-of-its-kind dining experience will prompt them to seek you out. Bank on their desire for cultural education by offering a distinctive, regional cuisine that will pique their curiosity. You could also serve local beers and wines, or present local produce in your menu.