Forget fly-drive, it’s all about ‘fly-dine’ holidays

Will You Fly For Food?

A survey of OpenTable diners revealed that travellers are choosing their destinations based on a city’s restaurant and food culture.

Photo credit: Ditty_about_summer /

With a fervent appreciation of cooking shows, celebrity chefs and the hotpot of cultures on our shores, it’s no surprise Australians are taking their love of food to the skies. According to our latest research, Australians’ obsession with food is now influencing the way we vacation, and is the top factor when selecting a holiday destination.

Dining out is top of mind for travellers

The research demonstrates that dining out is massively important, with a massive 84% of Australians surveyed, considering dining out options when choosing a holiday destination, and 59% professing to having flown for food within the last 5 years.

A country’s cuisine is now one of the most important factors when choosing where to go on holiday, with the research results highlighting it as more important than nightlife and outdoor activities.

That’s Amore!

As big fans of foreign food scenes, over a three quarters (79%) of Australian diners want to eat just like a local when abroad, swapping dishes for the flavours of the continent and further afield.

Top of the table is Italy, the nation’s favourite country to travel to for food (55%), whilst the favourite foodie city is Florence being named as their dream destination.

Dining adventures

Eating out abroad awakens our adventurous side, with 88% of Australian holidaymakers stating they are more likely to try new dishes and dining experiences when eating out whilst away from home. Women are the bravest when it comes to trying new foods with 88% making adventurous choices – not by much though – with 87% of men also claiming they’re more daring when ordering food abroad.

Dining destination Holidays

With the summer travel season in full swing, the OpenTable insiders have compiled a list of must-try dishes from dining destinations around the globe. From traditional dishes to novel takes on local cuisine, these “25 Fly to Try Dishes” are well worth the flight — and adding to the bucket list of diners across the world:

Photo credit: Samot /

Dining as an experience

Lisa Hasen, Vice President of OpenTable, APAC, explains,

“Our latest research shows Australian globetrotters are redefining their travel bucket lists based on the plethora of exciting dining experiences available globally. When it comes to sampling new cuisines and delicacies, the world truly is their oyster.  Dining choices now form an integral part of holiday decision-making for Australians, and those wanting to immerse themselves in a destination and experience it as a local, aren’t afraid to trial their tastebuds. As true food-venturers, Australians like to be in-the-know when it comes to dining experiences overseas.”

To ensure their food experience abroad is second-to-none, almost two-thirds (65%) of Australians have booked a restaurant reservation in advance of their trip.

A similar research conducted in the UK, indicated that it’s not just the cuisine on offer that is driving holiday dining choices. The research reveals that a ‘reliable menu and service’ is the most important factor to the nation, with 52% of Brits ranking this as very important*.

OpenTable allows users to view menus and reviews ahead of departure to help holidaymakers plan their gastronomic adventures before booking. The booking platform also gives diners the opportunity to be hyper organised when travelling with functionality that enables diners to search, discover and make reservations at restaurants across the globe.

With access to 42,000 restaurants across more than 20 countries at the tap of on a button, making OpenTable the must-have foodie travel companion.

Here’s what we’re doing in the US and UK to drive culinary inspiration for cities like Melbourne and Sydney –  visit:

About the Survey:

The survey was conducted online by more than 2,385 OpenTable diners aged 18 and older across Australia from June 7 through June 14, 2017.

*OpenTable & One Poll research carried out in May 2017. OpenTable surveyed 2,000 UK holidaymakers.