Indigenous Epicurean Adventure Grows Within Group Business Travel Sector
Whether traveling by car, train, air or sea, business travelers increasingly have something in common: the desire for regionally-authentic experiences that offer an intimate view of local cultures. This is with respect to employee group getaways, company-sanctioned prospecting and entertaining activities, and individual free time itineraries, alike.
With reports revealing the trend of being “connoisseurs of local culture” will boom this year, cultural immersion experiences—especially those with culinary components—are as white hot in the business sector as they are for leisure travelers. For many business travel planners and for road warriors, themselves, indigenous food & beverage tourism is becoming a mission critical consideration. Exemplifying this is data from Venngage underscoring the importance of food in travel, revealing that over a third of tourism spending is devoted to food.
Interestingly, this foodie-driven business travel trend is being bolstered in tandem with the private villa rental sector, specifically, with many such residences surpassing leading luxe resorts relative to authentic epicurean experiences in addition to accommodations and amenities. Today’s bespoke breed of private villa rentals have become the ultimate “victual vacation” indulgence for business travelers—both small groups and individuals.
One private villa being tapped by business travelers that exemplifies this trend is Casa Dos Cisnes–Puerto Vallarta’s foremost premier private oceanfront villa. This 10,000 square foot property, a five-bedroom colonial style home with breathtaking views of the Pacific, goes over-and-above to ensure each gasto-guest’s needs, desires and expectations for an extraordinary, foodie-forward private villa respite are fulfilled. This includes custom gourmet meals prepared on-site by a dedicated 5-star private chef specializing in Mexican-contemporary cuisine, served in an elegant separate dining room that seats up to 12. This private gourmet chef also prepares what this villa calls a ‘Magical Mexican Fiesta’—a lively evening of regional food, cocktails and Mexican musicians entertaining at the property, which proffers corporate events that duly impress. This is available to guests in addition to three full meals a day plus snack and happy hour service, which can be served in the dining room or the separate dining terraces at the main and pool levels.
But the baroque business travel benefits of Casa Dos Cisnes far exceed these epicurean exploits, as its bevy of other premium amenities—availed in an authentic and stylishly-appointed residential setting—include 24/7 bilingual butler service and multiple staff, monitored security, housecleaning services, private infinity-edge ocean view pool, fully equipped state-of-the-art gym, large media-entertainment room, concierge and spa service, musicians for hire, sports and boating excursions, VIP treatment at the city’s leading beach club and most renowned restaurants, and more. Given that guests enjoy complete privacy and security in the most exclusive area in Puerto Vallarta, commandeering the entire 10,000 square foot space with all of the relaxation, solitude and discretion that affords, the result is a remarkable culinary and luxury living experience.
While gourmet private chef-prepared meals, maximized privacy and security, uber-tailored guest service and 5-star accommodations and amenities are chief reasons the trend toward private villa lodging is exploding even in the business sector, an elite few like Casa Dos Cisnes have offerings far beyond that don’t just rival, but far exceed, those offered by high-end resorts—including those elite Penthouse suites. Private villa residences offering first class, one-of-a-kind services are ushering in an entirely new era of bespoke hospitality around the globe. They are, in fact, single-handedly setting a new and decidedly elevated standard for luxe business travel worldwide.
Another facet of cultural and foodie-driven business tourism helping drive demand for regionally-authentic itineraries is the escalation of Artificial Intelligence (AI)—a tech trend that will continue to evolve at a rapid pace. According to Advito’s 2017 Industry Forecast, AI has already enabled a range of apps, bots and software that makes it easier for industry purveyors to interact with travelers and diners at every step of a trip to expedite, ease and enhance. AI automates computer processes to work in the same way as the human brain. Natural language processing (NLP) helps computers understand human speech or typing, and AI then applies machine learning to provide a useful response.
In the food and beverage realm business travelers will rely on AI more and more. Many already use conversational voice-driven platforms like Google’s AI personal assistance or iPhone’s Siri function to research and arrange dining plans, winery and brewery tours, festival attendance and more foodie fun all over the world. Throngs of AI-equipped smart-device apps are available for suggestions, streamlined reservation bookings and other assists like on-demand intel on that boutique wine label or locavore food ingredient you’re not familiar with.
Advito reveals that the travel industry is “well-positioned to embrace AI,” and also that the wider travel industry is adopting the technology. “AI is still in its infancy, but it is in our immediate future,” the report asserts. “As it develops, it will help simplify complex travel decisions, shorten the buying process and deliver a more personalized offering.”
With the world economy poised to regain momentum and the penchant among business travelers to integrate gourmet food, wine and related activities into both their official and extracurricular itineraries, the future is tasty for this crucial category of hospitality.
***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above may have been provided or arranged at no cost to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***
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