Tourism has a big problem. There's just way too much of it.
I've seen it firsthand. And wrote about it here.
The problem is that certain places become "famous" among visitors. They flock there in their millions. This drives up prices. In order to stay in business, shops and restaurants and other places must cater exclusively and expensively to the tourists, turning the original thing into a simulacrum of what made it famous in the first place.
It also drives prices down, specifically the price of airfare and hotels, further encouraging ever larger numbers of people to flock to the well-traveled locations.
Something like 670 million people "traveled" in Europe last year, a total that includes Europeans traveling domestically or elsewhere in Europe, and also foreign visitors from outside Europe.
The trend is driven by other factors. Instagram is a constant, compelling advertisement for exotic locations. The rise of China and the increasing desire in that country for foreign travel is another.
Overtourism ruins the places people love. And it ruins the experience of traveling.
Airports are mobbed. AirBnBs are harder to book.
Locals are driven out of their neighborhoods and cities because it's more lucrative to serve tourists than locals.
Locals come to resent visitors, creating an feeling of hostility.
Cities like Barcelona and Amsterdam respond by restricting services like AirBnB and Uber, making travel there deliberately more challenging.
That's why the Gastronomad movement is redefining how travel happens.
We see Gastronomad travel as the opposite of tourism. Specifically:
- flock to the same small number of destinations
- stay in hotels, resorts and cruise ships
- eat in restaurants
- surgical-strike on cliché tourist spots
- photograph themselves in scenes everyone has already seen
- buy trinkets and souvenirs
- favor “safe,” easy or convenient spots to vacation in
- try to live like they do back home
- seek out countries, cities, towns and neighborhoods with zero tourist activity
- stay in homes and apartments with locals as neighbors
- vary sources of local foods, including shopping, cooking, street food
- explore to discover the previously unknown and undiscovered
- capture authentic and surprising moments, not cliches
- avoid spending on “stuff”; instead spend on experiences
- favor the new, exotic, interesting, undiscovered instead of the “safe”
- live like the locals do
We invite you to join our Prosecco Experience to find out what this approach to travel is all about.
Instead of a hotel, we'll all stay together in a beautifully restored traditional farmhouse with a view of vineyard-covered hills. After a delightful breakfast each day, we'll head out and explore the most delicious things the Prosecco Hills has to offer, plus one glorious day in Venice.
During The Prosecco Experience, we'll meet the world's greatest makers of prosecco, as well as the winemakers who produce incredible red, white and orange wines in the region.
The Prosecco Experience is about prosecco and the wines of the region. But it's also about all the things that go with prosecco: Otherworldly vistas, joyful gatherings, astonishing grappa and above all, the incredible, complex and subtle cuisine of Veneto.
You'll not only enjoy this delicious cuisine at every meal, you'll learn how to make it yourself.
The Prosecco Experience includes pasta-making class and other cooking classes. You'll learn how to make Italian cheese, artisanal bread. And more. Much more.
We've even figured out how to visit Venice and avoid the tourists!
Every day is packed with delightful surprises, sweeping landscapes and joyful gatherings with new friends.
Join us! (And please hurry! Space left for just one more couple!)