4.5 million globe-trotting gourmets book holidays for good food over good beaches

28th July 2011

  • One in 10 holidaymakers picked their destination based solely on that country’s cuisine

Forget sun, sea and sand as millions of British tourists are making food the focus of their overseas holidays, according to new research* from Churchill Travel Insurance.

Since 2009, over 4.5 million (15 per cent) holidaymakers have chosen to visit a resort or area specifically because of the selection of restaurants available. Furthermore, over one in 10 (11 per cent) Brits who travelled abroad made the decision to visit that country based primarily on its cuisine, whether it was for a love of Italian banquets or traditional Thai street food.

Brits’ interest in internationally-acclaimed eateries, such as El Bulli and Noma, also seems to have fuelled the trend in gastro-travellers, as three quarters of a million (782,677) foodies (three per cent) have organised a holiday around a booking they have secured for a specific restaurant far in advance.

The research reveals that ’full English breakfasts’ and ‘burger and chips’ on the Costas are increasingly being shunned by ‘foodie’ travellers. Instead, 83 per cent of British tourists say they try to be adventurous with their food choices, sampling local dishes where possible and shying away from typical British menus and establishments.

Millions of British travellers also aim to re-create their favourite holiday dishes at home, with one in four (25 per cent) holidaymakers having brought back local ingredients. Two million holidaymakers have also carted back specialist cooking equipment, such as Moroccan tagines and Spanish paella pans, in the past two years alone. Furthermore, 733,762 travellers (two per cent) have also opted to learn local cooking skills first-hand by taking a cooking course during their trip.

Annette Fox, spokesperson for Churchill Travel Insurance, commented: “British holidaymakers are becoming increasingly adventurous and are defying the ‘Brits on tour’ stereotype and shunning fry-ups and burger joints in favour of traditional dishes and local establishments. Many British tourists are going out of their way to learn about international cookery and have obviously been won over by the culinary delights that other countries around the world have to offer.

“If you are going off the beaten track and sampling local dishes in more far-flung destinations however, do check in advance if the tap water is safe to drink and, if not, drink bottled water and avoid consuming things like salad and ice cubes.”

Notes to editors:

Opinium LLP interviewed a random sample of 2,025 adults aged 18+ via online omnibus for Churchill Travel Insurance. Surveys were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults in July 2011.

For further information please contact:

Ewan Robertson/Katie Pugh
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Tel: 0207 282 2981/2914
Email: ewan.robertson@citigatedr.co.uk / katie.pugh@citigatedr.co.uk

Churchill

Founded in 1989, Churchill is now one of the UK’s leading providers of general insurance, offering car, home, travel and pet insurance cover over the phone or on-line.

Churchill general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales no 1179980. U K Insurance Limited are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

Churchill and U K Insurance Limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc, which is wholly owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

Customers can find out more about Churchill products or get a quote by calling 0800 200300 or visiting www.churchill.com.