The growth has been attributed to an improvement in authentic, curated experiences for travellers who are part of this niche, seeking cultural experiences through food.

Barba Gaoganediwe, the Gauteng Tourism Authority’s Head of Destination Promotions and Marketing says food is at the heart of the South African tourism offering. “Memories are stronger when linked to food. It delivers an intense experience that is remembered long after tourists return home.”

Lana Carls, Niche Tourism Co-ordinator of Wesgro, says each source market has its own preference when it comes to foodie experiences. “These experiences are packaged according to market insights. The key is for the experience to have an authenticity and local ‘flavour’. One of the reasons the Cape Malay cooking courses are so popular is because of the cultural attachment to the experience.” ‘Dining with a local’ experiences in areas like Kayamandi and Khayelitsha are examples of this.

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