USA Today reports that food and drink tourism is booming. And yes, the article mentions Asheville:
“Online travel company Viator, which provides access to more than 9,000 tours and activities, has seen a 50% increase in wine tour sales in the past year. And Kelly Gillease, vice president of marketing for Viator, says beer tour options, particularly craft beer, are becoming more abundant as well.
‘People are looking for more unique cultural experiences,” Gillease says. “Eating the food and drinking what people drink is a great way to do that.’
Dodie Stephens of the Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau in North Carolina says tourists have long come to Asheville for a tour of the Biltmore estate or hikes through the Blue Ridge Mountains, but since 1994, craft beer breweries — and now even a moonshine distillery — have developed, creating new destinations for tourists.
‘If it’s homegrown or homemade or home brewed, Asheville’s doing it,’ Stephens says. ‘They offer visitors an array of experiences.’”