Local Food Tours Attract Foreign Visitors

Vancouver Foodie Tours | BCBusiness
Vancouver Foodie Tours owner and operator Michelle Ng leading a group on the World’s Best Street Eats Tour in downtown Vancouver.

The Canadian Tourism Commission adds several B.C. food tours to its marketing development program

The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) has inducted “A Culinary Journey through Canada’s Desert” tour from Covert Farms and the “World’s Best Food Truck Tour” from Vancouver Foodie Tours into its Canadian Signature Experience (CSE) collection.

“Being a part of this program gives us excellent exposure to the international travel trade. Whenever tour operators around the world are looking at a certain destination within Canada this CSE program is going to be the first thing that they look at,” says Michelle Ng, owner of Vancouver Foodie Tours.

Ng’s tour is the only food truck tour to be included in the CSE collection. Two other local food tours—the “Finer Things Dinner Tour” from Whistler Tasting Tours and Edible Canada’s “Granville Island Market Tour”—have also been inducted into the program. Multiple Okanagan wine tours were also previously inducted.

“B.C. is a huge foodie province so it doesn’t surprise me that most of the food tours are in B.C.,” says Ng.

The “World’s Best Food Truck Tour” runs two hours and stops at six food trucks in downtown Vancouver, including acclaimed street staples Japadog and Tacofino. Ng says that culinary tours in Vancouver have become such a tourist draw because they combine the traditional city walking tour with a unique culinary experience.

Many of the businesses recently inducted into the collection have tours that focus on cuisine or the outdoors. Examples include “Crystal Hut Fondue by Snowmobile” from Canadian Wilderness Adventures where participants snowmobile to the top of Blackcomb mountain to enjoy fondue in a cabin and the “Sea Otter Kayak Tour” by West Coast Expeditions. These types of tours may have contributed to a recent upswing in tourism with 2.6 million international visitors to Canada in August, up 5.3 per cent from the previous year, according to CTC’s latest tourism snapshot.

The Canadian Signature Experience program helps qualifying tourism businesses promote their products internationally. The latest cohort of 28 Canadian businesses is the third group to be inducted into the program.

“The Canadian Signature Experiences collection recognizes truly authentic Canadian experiences that entice travellers and position Canada as a destination of choice on the world stage,” said the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism, in a statement.

The CTC, which runs the program, is a Crown corperation that acts as Canada’s national tourism marketing organization and promotes Canada in 11 countries including China, India and Brazil.