Cultural immersion is widely regarded as the future of dining and travel as food and travel expenditures are helping to propel the luxury goods market. According to a Bain & Company luxury study, the global market will grow at 4% to an estimated $1.15 trillion dollars in 2017.
This is creating a lot of opportunities for companies in this space and one popular food app called VizEat, is looking to capitalize on this trend. Already a popular dining concept in Europe, VizEat is now available in Asia.
VizEat offers culinary travelers an opportunity to dine with locals. The platform features over 20,000 hosts in 110 countries worldwide. Recently VizEat expanded in Asia focusing on China, Korea and Singapore. Given the region’s strong business traveler culture VizEat also plans to work with tourism boards to promote their service to corporate clients. The VizEat.com website will launch a new section where corporate travel groups and planners can connect to organize events worldwide.
There are other types of food apps which help travelers dine with strangers such as EatWith, Grouper which offers more of a blind date experience, HomeDine and Feastly which allows users to book pop-up experiences from chefs, although it only works in the US.
VizEat sees cultural immersion as not just good business but also a good way to bring people together. The company says travelers exploring a destination for the first time often get “lost in translation” although most these travelers are eager to discover a culture by engaging with locals. Luxury is all about pleasure, comfort and great ease. This is what social dining is about. Being with locals in a place where you’ve never been before provides ease and comfort. Luxury travel these days must be authentic, experiential and unforgettable.
Data mapping company Vengage reports that a third of tourism spending is devoted to food and so there is a large and growing market for companies which can satisfy traveler’s hunger to authentically explore and experience a destination.