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National food obsession factors into Canadians’ holiday planning

The poll, which was carried out for the small group travel specialist by YouGov, found that more than half of those surveyed who’ve been on holiday abroad (56%) say that the local cuisine is very or fairly important when choosing their holiday destination abroad.

Food also influences Canadians’ choices when on holiday with 46% of those surveyed saying they like to take in the local flavours when travelling abroad.

Within Canada, Québécois are the most likely to seek out the most authentic food they can find when travelling, with one third saying they eat from street stalls and markets whenever possible, while Ontarians are the most likely to stick to Western chain restaurants or familiar cuisines (10%).

When asked to choose from a list of well-travelled celebrities, more people said they would like to share a meal with Hollywood stars such as Angelina Jolie (17%) or George Clooney (14%) than with popular travelling chefs Jamie Oliver or Gordon Ramsay (both 10%).

"I always make a point to sample the local specialties and delicacies when I travel," says Steven Larkin, president for Intrepid Travel North America. “Though, it may have taken a bit of persuasion for me to sample the fermented shark on my trip to Iceland this year!”

"Of course these days you can find a huge number of exotic food choices in Canadian restaurants and supermarkets, but whether your favourite cuisine is Italian or Indian, Mexican or Malaysian, you haven't tasted it at its authentic best until you've tried it at a market stall or local eatery in the country where it comes from," adds Larkin.

Throughout February, Intrepid Travel is offering 15% off gastronomic tours in more than 15 countries known for their fabulous cuisine, from India to Vietnam, Sri Lanka to Mexico, as well as European destinations including Italy, Spain and France.

The discounted trips showcase global food at its most authentic, with cooking classes, street food and local markets featuring prominently on many of the itineraries. Trips can be booked at

Notes to editors

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,008 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken from 12 - 16 January 2012. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Canadian adults (aged 18+).

Friday, February 10, 2012

About Intrepid Travel

Intrepid Travel is one of the world's leading small group adventure tour operators. It offers authentic and fun experiences that give travellers the chance to get under the skin of the places they visit, with more than 1,000 itineraries to more than 100 countries worldwide. Intrepid Travel trips are designed to go off the beaten track, meet the locals and travel in an unconventional way, joining locals on their transport, in their markets and even in their homes.
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