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Press Release   •   Apr 20, 2016 10:10 BST

The UK is becoming a nation of foodie travellers, with a boom in the number of ‘gastro-holidays’ taken in the past three years.

Travel company Expedia.co.uk surveyed 14,000 people across Europe to reveal that one in 10 Brits will go on a ‘foodie’ holiday in 2016, where the local cuisine is a deciding factor in destination choice – this is five times as many people as in 2013[1].

Brits abroad are also shaking off their reputation for eating ‘ham egg and chips’, and can now be classed among the most adventurous European nations when it comes to trying local cuisine. More than a quarter (28%) strongly prefer local restaurants 'off the beaten track' when dining abroad – a greater percentage than German (21%), Italian (20%) or Spanish (9%) travellers. Just one in six (15%) Brits stick to the security of better-known tourist restaurants.

In fact, one in six (17%) admit to planning where to eat when on holiday before even booking flights or hotels. Plus, more than a tenth (12%) of UK holidaymakers will research food festivals, events and markets to help them make the most of their holiday meals.

However, while Brits are becoming more gastronomically adventurous, Expedia’s findings show that they don't feel obliged to head abroad to fulfil their culinary desires.

Though the Puglia region in Southern Italy (34%) and Madrid in Spain (25%) were named as the top emerging ‘foodie’ destinations, Cornwall (23%) rounds out the top three, proving that there’s more than just pasties to whet your appetite in the South West of England (see full table below).

Table 1: Top 10 emerging food tourism destinations for Brits

No.City, CountryPercentage who would visit for food tourism
1.Puglia, Italy34%
2.Madrid, Spain25%
3.Cornwall, UK23%
4.Tokyo, Japan16%
5.Louisville, Kentucky, USA15%
6.Sydney, Australia14%
=7.Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam12%
=7.Vienna, Austria12%
=7.Lisbon, Portugal12%
10.Copenhagen, Denmark8%
At the other end of the spectrum, Cartagena in Colombia (2%), Dubrovnik in Croatia (4%) and Belfast in Northern Ireland (5%) were named as the cities that held the least ‘foodie’ appeal among those surveyed.

Tipping culture across Europe

British holidaymakers may be branching out food-wise, but we fail to impress when the bill arrives – one in 10 (10%) of those surveyed across Europe believe Brits are the least generous tippers. There may be some level of accuracy to this reputation though, as almost one in 10 (9%) people in the UK never tip at restaurants, while 16% only tip if they feel the service is ‘exceptional’. Only German tourists (14%) are seen as being less generous with their gratuities.

Table 2: The Expedia European Tipping Index

No.NationalityPercentage who see this nationality as the least generous tippers

Expedia.co.uk launched its new food website Europe On A Plate on Monday 18thApril. Working with twelve food influencers around the world, the site will uncover the coolest hidden hotspots, unique restaurants and secret gems.

Alex Platts, Commercial Director, Northern Europe, for Brand Expedia comments:“With a whole world of culinary delights to explore out there, it’s understandable that so many people in the UK and across Europe are unleashing their inner foodie when they head abroad.

“Whether you’re playing it safe or looking for restaurants well off the beaten track, Expedia has plenty of suggestions and expertise available to share. And with our new site Europe On A Plate, picking the perfect dining experiences for you is easier than ever.”

Featured deals for top emerging ‘foodie’ destinations:

Puglia, Italy

Return flights to Bari and six nights at the 5* Grande Albergo delle Nazioni from £497 and embark on a private Alberobello walking tour and cooking class from £90

Return flights to Lecce and six nights at the 4* 8piuhotel from £369 and a ‘by night’ walking tour with appetisers from £61

Madrid, Spain

Return flights to Madrid and six nights at the 5* Westin Palace from £543 and a tapas and wine tour from £52

Return flights to Madrid and six nights at the 4* Hotel Atlantico Madrid from £558 – a reduction of 35% – and a private group cooking class with a local chef from £255 per group

Cornwall, UK

Stay at the 4* The Metropole Hotel, Padstow for 6 nights from £951 and visit Restaurant Nathan Outlaw by Port Isaac for an extravagant eight-course tasting menu from £99

Stay at the 4* Rosemullion Hotel, Falmouth for 6 nights from £543 and visit The Wheel House in Falmouth for market-fresh mussels, scallops and crabs from £15 for meal and a glass of wine

Data taken on 30 March 2016 from https://www.expedia.co.uk/cheap-deals for one room, two adults for six consecutive nights between 1 August 2016 to 7 August 2016. All flights from London airports. 

About Expedia

Expedia® is one of the world's leading full-service online travel agents offering access to hundreds of thousands of hotels including boutique hotels as well as major hotel brand names and access to over 400 airlines along with a wide selection of car hire and destination experiences. By combining choice with specialist tools to help refine these options, Expedia.co.uk helps travellers to find and create the trip that best matches their individual requirements. Now with the award-winning Expedia mobile app you can plan and book flights and hotels on the move. The Expedia app offers helpful tools to manage your trip including: airport terminal maps; hotel check out time and flight status notifications; maps to your hotel and a host of other features. Expedia.co.uk partners with loyalty programme Nectar in the UK enabling its customers to collect 200 Nectar points on flight only, hotel or car hire bookings and 1000 points on package purchases through www.expedia.co.uk.

For travel inspiration and tips visit our Facebook page www.facebook.com/expedia.co.uk

Expedia.co.uk is owned and operated by Expedia Inc.. The company delivers consumers value in leisure and business travel, drives incremental demand and direct bookings to travel suppliers, and provides advertisers the opportunity to reach a highly valuable audience of in-market travel consumers through Expedia Media Solutions. Expedia also powers bookings for some of the world's leading airlines and hotels, top consumer brands, high traffic websites, and thousands of active affiliates through Expedia(r) Affiliate Network. (NASDAQ: EXPE) For corporate and industry news and views, visit us at www.expediainc.com or follow us on Twitter @expediainc. Trademarks and logos are the property of their respective owners. (c) 2016 Expedia, Inc. All rights reserved. CST: 2029030-50

For more information, please contact Expedia Press Office on expediaukpress@thirdcity.co.uk.

About the research

All figures, unless otherwise stated are from a OnePoll research study, conducted between 16 March and 6 April 2016. The sample was 14,000 adults across 13 European nations with interviews conducted via the OnePoll online omnibus. The nations surveyed were the UK, Republic of Ireland, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway. Quotas and weighted to be representative of the population.

[1]Research from OnePoll showed that 9.1% people have either already been on or are planning a holiday in 2016 where food was a deciding factor in the destination. This is up from 1.6% in 2013, equating to an increase of 468% - or more than five times as much

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