A food market is tradition in countries around the Mediterranean and is just part of their normal life. Now Food attractions and Events are becoming a very popular experience too, not only for tourists in that area. It now has changed in to a tourist attraction all over the world. The tourism Industry itself is introducing more and more new Food hall- Events and Concepts into different locations. Theme Parks like Zoo’s, Attraction parks and Museums are organizing Food Events like Wine & Dine Festivals and the Pasar Malam. Food truck Festivals are also an ongoing trend. The popularity of the Food Hall is rising to enormous heights and is becoming the most important tourist attraction in cities. We have written many blogs about our Breakfast Experiences but get ready for our latest visit; the World Biggest Food Theme park ever!
Wine and Dine festival Epcot Center, Disney in Orlando
During the off season Disney Epcot Center always organizes a Wine and Dine Festival. It is one of the most popular events for seniors and it’s a cash cow for Disney. Near the entrance fee to the park you must pay extra for the special food experiences and wine tasting from different regions and cultures from all over the world. Burgers Zoo in the Netherlands also introduced the Pasar Malam Event to become more attractive and that way increase the visitor numbers.
Rotterdam – Gent – Berlin
Tourists discovered Rotterdam as the newest hot spot destination after Amsterdam for a short stay. Visitors like the modern architecture and some of the icons like the Erasmus Bridge and Hotel New York. Other well know architectures are the cube homes.
The latest new masterpiece in Rotterdam seems to be the Market Hall; The biggest Food Market place in Europa where you can do your shopping, dine and on top of the market there are apartments situated where you can live. The Market Hall is becoming the most popular visitor attraction in Rotterdam since the opening three years ago. But there is more to see in Rotterdam, from a short walking distance you will find The Finex Food Factory. This is another Market Hall, located in ‘Katendrecht’ a former Red District. It is situated in an old industrial building. You can make a choice of eight different organic dishes, from all over the world. The Finex Food Factory’s furniture is made from second-hand cradle to cradle materials. If you like to have a special Food Experience we recommend the ‘PLANK’. For only € 15.- you can make taste all these different kitchens; you will definitely get a marvellous taste experience.
World biggest Food Theme park – Bologna
This new AGRI-FOOD-PARK has opened in Bologna, Italy last November. This Food Experience is that big, visitors need a bike to do their shopping. This new Branded Food Leisure Centre, FIC-Fabrica Italiana Contadina is world’s largest AGRI-FOOD-PARK and consist of 100.000m2 with more than 50 Italian restaurants. All the restaurants serve regional dishes. Can you imagine that you will be one of the six million visitors who needs a bike to do the shopping and then have a diner at one of these restaurants?
We visited the biggest Indoor Food Attraction – Eataly in Bologna a few weeks ago, an amazing place that became the first Branded Food Leisure Centre, FIC-Fabrica Italiana Contadina. There is more than 100.000 m2 food, fun, shopping, edutainment and also six exhibits and carousels that tell stories about the world’s largest AGRI-FOOD-PARK. If you want to know more about this Food Leisure Centre FIC we advise you to visit the website www.eatalyworld.it. Look at my VLOG on Youtube here (in Dutch). Trends are always happening on more than one place at the same time; Ede City Council also has plans to development a World Food Centre in the Netherlands. This WFC will become a hive of activity with learning, working, living, experiencing and meeting ‘attractions’. You can download the official WFC brochure for more info here.
Food- Market Hall consumer Experiences
We learned a lot last year during our trend tour through several countries about the Food Hall concept. We know now that it has become a very interesting tourist attraction and that it is popular for more generations than you might think. We visited a variation of Food Halls, Market Halls, Food Factories, Food Centre’s and Holy Food Markets.
The Holy Food Markets in Gent Belgium are exceptional. This is located in a beautifully decorated 16th-century chapel, with a central bar for liquid sacraments. You can experience 16 different cultures with local food and drinks. This Holy Food Market was inspired by other Food Halls like we visited in Barcelona, Copenhagen, Rotterdam and Paris. You can order your own self-made Magnum when you make a wish and say Amen. What can we learn from this trend in Food Halls? Visitors/tourists like to do their shopping and eating during their day out. They easily pay some extra money for a coffee break, lunch, dinner and shopping in a Food Hall. When you put this all together along with the different cultures, events and the food entertainment it will become a culinary hot spot destination. When traditional Campsites, hotels and Indoor playground owners understand the dynamic of these attractions they can learn a lot from it.
Hans van Leeuwen, Trendwatcher & Leisure Consultant