Photo Credit: Photo credit: Amarnath Radhakrishnan
Here's How Gastronomic Tourism Is Changing This Small Mexican Town
Puerto Morelos has attracted tourists looking to escape Cancun. Its white beach shores are perfect for snorkeling and sunset gazing. Now, the town is partnering with culinary professionals to use food as a tool to build its gastronomy tourism market.
According to Riviera Maya News, the town’s Secretary of Tourism announced the “First Caribbean Grill Festival 2023.” It will be happening in Puerto Morelos on June 29. As another checkpoint in the town’s growing gastronomy tourism boom, the festival will showcase 14 chefs from the north of Quintana Roo and the culinary delights native to the area.
“We are creating links with our productive sector to also connect our students from the tourism industry and to get them involved in the labor dynamics,” Municipal Secretary of Sustainable Tourism Miguel Cámara Ruiz told Riviera Maya News. “Therefore, part of the resources obtained from the festival will be to support students from Cecyte Leona Vicario, an institution that recently signed an agreement with Canirac Puerto Morelos.”
Gastronomy tourism is “characterized by the visitor’s experience linked with food and related products,” according to the United Nations World Travel Organization.
The festival isn’t Puerto Morelos first dive into building a gastronomic tourism infrastructure. According to The Cancun Sun, many restaurants in the area have begun building their menu and tourist accommodations around gastronomy. New travel routes specifically for the traveling foodie have emerged over the last year. This includes restaurants where guests choose ingredients from a local garden for a farm to table dining experience.
The upcoming festival is a win for Puerto Morelos. They intend to drive their gastronomic value amongst the surrounding popular travel destinations.
“We will be 14 chefs accompanied by 25 Cecyte practitioners whom we want to include in everything that involves putting together these events in addition to promoting the destination which has great regional and international cuisine,” Municipal Canirac President Armando Alvarado said.
The “First Caribbean Grill Festival 2023” will have a wide array of food options. Guests can taste everything from chicken to ostrich paired with some of the town’s freshest vegetables from local producers.
Experts say gastronomy tourism can be beneficial to any destination. According to the World Food Travel Association, 80 percent of travelers research food and drink options when visiting new destinations. Additionally, 53 percent of people consider themselves “culinary travelers,” so food is a major driving force behind travel decisions. As gastronomy tourism grows, Puerto Morelos interest in food could have a hefty return in the future.
Travelers can check out the festival at the Cenote Maravilla. There will be a children’s play area, live music and an artists corner.