That tourism relies heavily on the hospitality sector is a fact known to all. The inflow of tourists to any place needs several services at their disposal, more importantly food. However, the hospitality sector is just as much dependent on local tourism to thrive. And that’s why Dubai-based restaurateur Sanjeev Nanda prefers to consider the restaurant business and tourism to be interdependent.
Two sides of the same coin
Sanjeev Nanda, who is also the owner of Miss Tess and Billionaire Mansion restaurants in Dubai, believes that while food adds a different appeal to the tourism of a particular place, the connection is not one-way. “A great many people love to explore the culinary offering of the place they are visiting. Sometimes, people end up visiting a place only because they wish to try out a certain cuisine,” he says.
According to Sanjeev Nanda, this connection is precisely what makes the restaurant industry rely on tourism for its growth. The recent times have been solid evidence of the fact that if the tourist inflow to a particular place is affected, the restaurant business dwindles as well. “A better tourist influx is always a good sign for the restaurants operating in the region in terms of both revenues and employment,” he adds.
The confluence of food and tourism
The extension of Sanjeev Nanda’s claim can be seen in the growing popularity of traveling for food, better known as ‘food tourism’. People undertake travels not just to sightsee or explore the scenic natural beauty of the destination, they also intend to explore the vast range of delicacies that the local food outlets have to offer. The presence of good restaurants becomes even more important for travelers who feel homesick and crave for a bite of their native food in a foreign land.
According to Sanjeev Nanda, food tourism is gradually emerging as a distinct sub-category, and a culturally diverse country like the UAE holds great promise with respect to growth in the years to come. “The diversity in terms of language, culture, and food in the UAE mesmerizes the travelers. With food tourism gaining ground, the emirates, especially Dubai, have become more than a place with great sites to visit – it is also a place that offers diverse and delectable food,” he explains.
The Miss Tess owner is quick to point out the interdependency of food and tourism once again. “However popular the trend may be for the tourism sector, it nevertheless is dependent on the restaurant industry and benefits it in turn. If one gets affected due to any factor, the other is bound to come to a standstill as well,” he says.