How Sweet it Is!

Chocolatourism: A Decadent New Niche

People have been traveling the world for fine wine, beer, food, and other diversions for years. Why not chocolate?

With a growing number of health benefits being attributed to dark chocolate, an increasing number of chocolate lovers are wondering where they can find the best chocolate, how cocoa is grown and processed, and how handcrafted chocolate is made. And they don't just want to read about it: They want to experience it.

It's no wonder! The 2000 movie Chocolat, starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp, put certain sexiness on the screen that forever changed the way we think and feel about chocolate. Who wouldn't want to have that same sensual experience eating a delectable handcrafted chocolate made just for us?

But the thing about fresh chocolate is that it has a very short life span—just one to three weeks for fresh truffles, and up to three months for most filled chocolates. So chocolate lovers are being encouraged to travel the world and eat chocolate at its source, where it's fresher, more exotic, and deliciously enticing.

Many cities and destinations are adding to the chocolate lover's experience by offering chocolate spa treatments and chocolate attractions and accommodations that will create lasting memories for any red-blooded chocolate lover. Imagine having your entire body slathered in warm, molten chocolate made from locally grown aromatic cocoa. You can have that experience if you visit Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, and make an appointment at the Pure Jungle Spa.

Travelers not wanting to wander so far could still have an equally seductive experience, as a growing number of American and Canadian spas are adding chocolate treatments such as scrubs, body wraps, and facials to their menus. The Hershey Chocolate Resort and Spa in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and Ste. Anne's Spa in Grafton, Ontario, Canada, are just a couple of examples.

For more tips on chocolatourism, click here to read this article by Doreen Pendgracs in its entirety, in the digital edition of Groups Today magazine.

Photo courtesy of Doreen Pendgracs.



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