Public interest in food has been dramatically increasing, as a consequence transforming food tourism into the new global trend, even more so fueled by countless unique food experiences posted on social media sites. Unlike common tourism, food tourism focuses on culinary experience, food and drinks that are locally sourced, rather than ordinary sightseeing. The concept suggests people pursue a memorable food or drink experience by developing a better understanding and consuming local food or drink with the essence of culture in them. It is considered first-hand cultural experience and it is on the top of the tourist attraction list.( https://www.millionmetrics.com/food-tourism/)( Millionmetrics ,2017)
2. What is Tourism Destination?
According to UNWTO (2016) tourism destination is a physical space with or without administrative and analytical boundaries in which a visitor can spend an overnight. It is the cluster of products, services, activities and experiences along the tourism value chain and a basic unit of analysis of tourism. ? destin?tion incorpor?tes v?rious st?keholders ?nd c?n build a network to form l?rger destin?tions. Destin?tions compete with e?ch other ?nd they need to develop competitive ?dv?nt?ges in order to survive in the future. However, tourists perceive destination more as a unit of multiple experiences and products.
If the tourists can meet their exact needs during the holiday consumption in the destination and when the holiday experiences exceed their expectations, as a result tourists will be delighted (Gnanapala, 2015).
2.2 Steps of Tourism Destination Development
Development is primarily seen as a geographic/physical expansion or increasing the tourist infrastructure. What is more, it is not portrayed in terms of people’s attitudes and values which are intangible, for example, networks and their contribution to destination development (Ross, 2001, p. 372). First the destination must be considered as a whole system with inputs and outputs. Then within this system there is a community and from that there are residents, services and businesses working together as a huge network in this particular community. At the destination level these networks are the frameworks, which binds the place and people together. (Ross, 2001, p. 374) Local actors’ rent-generating potential depends on a destination’s ability to attract future visitors, which is closely linked to the competitiveness of the destination compared to other destinations as cited in Haugland et al. (2010) from a work of Dwyer & Kim (2003). Of course destination development is not only encouraging people to visit a given place. The place should, in particular, also provide the experiences and services for its visitors and trade for its business. Howie (2010) explained in his book several essential actions for destination development:
1. Convert resources with potential into attractions
2. Provide an appropriate range of tourist accommodation
3. Deliver appropriate transport to, from and within the destination
4. Ensure the successful integration of the tourist-related developments into the changing activity patterns of the place on a long-term, sustainable basis.
A study by Beritelli et al. (2007) as cited in Haugland et al. (2010, p.269) in its turn, gives a very good explanation of the success of tourism destination: “The success of individual actors, as well as the success of the entire destination, is dependent on efficient coordination and integration of individual companies’ resources, products, and services”.
Howie, Frank. Managing the tourist destination. Cengage Learning, 2010.
(1) Development of tourism destinations: An Integrated Multilevel Perspective. Availablefrom: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/256987001_Development_of_tourism_destinations_An_Integrated_Multilevel_Perspective accessed Nov 20 2017.
1. Gastronomy Tourism
2.1 Food Tourism Development
Food Tourism has grown considerably and has become one of the most dynamic and creative segments of tourism. Both destinations and tourism companies are aware of the importance of gastronomy in order to diversify tourism and stimulate local, regional and national economic development (UNWTO report).
One of the most utilized definitions used in the literature is that proposed by Hall and Sharples (2003), according to which food tourism is an experiential trip to a gastronomic region, for recreational or entertainment purposes, which includes visits to primary and secondary producers of food, gastronomic festivals, food fairs, events, farmers’ markets, cooking shows and demonstrations, tastings of quality food products or any tourism activity related to food.
I addition to that, food tourism can be regarded as a form of niche or alternative tourism and as a result of escalating competition and a change in traveler wants in terms of destination experience, is now more often being included as a new or additional sector in the travel and tourism business (Poon, 1993; Ritchie & Crouch, 2000).
According to Tannahill (1988, p. 326) as stated by Alberto Reza, 2014 it was not until the early to mid-nineteenth century and the beginnings of the restaurant industry that characteristic national and regional styles of food and cooking emerged, and food and wine itself became a travel product.
The roots of food tourism lie in agriculture, culture and tourism (Bessiere 1998; Boniface, 2003; Cusack, 2000; Hjalager & Corigliano, 2000; Selwood 2003-Wagner, 2001; Wolf, 2002b). All three components offer opportunities and activities to market and position food tourism as an attraction and experience in a destination. Agriculture provides the product, namely, food; culture provides the history and authenticity; and tourism provides the infrastructure and services and combines the three components into the food tourism experience.
Food is considered as a reflection of the culture of a country and its people. It is therefore the ideal product to offer as an attraction in a destination and has many possibilities to be used as a marketing tool.(
Gastronomy has developed considerably through the ages, and there are numerous studies that chart the development of gastronomic styles and tastes over time. For example, Mennell (1985) traces the development of eating in England and France since the Middle Ages, and Parsa (1998) has summarized the development of Western cuisine in America (Retrieved from Hjalager , Tourism and Gastronomy,published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2003.)
2.2 Advantages of Food Tourism in Destinations
The significant implications of tourist food consumption on destinations have received a growing research interest recently. Evidence from a number of studies suggests that tourists’ interests and preferences for food in a destination can play a significant role in affecting their destination choice (Bessiere, 1998; Cohen & Avieli, 2004; Hall & Mitchell, 2001; Hall & Sharples, 2003; Hjalager & Richards, 2002; Long, 2004) (Retrived from Athena N.H)
Food is rarely the key reason for visiting a destination and most often is considered as part of the overall destination experience (Hjalager & Richards 2002; Long, 2003; Selwood, 2003). However, food is becoming one of the most important attractions as tourists seek new and authentic experiences and alternative forms of tourism (Boyne et ah, 2003; Crouch & Ritchie,
In the popular, and especially the promotional tourism literature, food at a prospective destination is generally presented as an attraction: the fresh, succulent seafood in seaside resorts, the peculiar ethnic cuisines of exotic peoples, the status restaurants in luxurious hotels, on cruise liners and in world metropolises. Whole countries or individual cities are promoted for their unique culinary attractions (Dann 1996:236; Noguchi 1992). However, food is becoming one of the most important attractions as tourists seek new and authentic experiences and alternative forms of tourism (Boyne et al, 2003; Crouch & Ritchie, 1999; Hjalaeer & Richards, 2002; Selwood, 2003).
Food tourism is a mixture of natural features, culture, services, infrastructure, access, attitudes toward tourists and uniqueness. It can enhance the total experience of the destination even further as it is the only product that can be experienced using all the human senses, therefore deepening the tourism experience even more. According to Quan and Wang (2003), food tourism holds several implications such as: adding value to agricultural products; providing a theme to build up attractions; utilising culture of foods as a food related event; incorporating food into mega events; and enhancing the local identity for destination marketing and development, therefore local and regional foods should not be regarded as trivial and ignored in tourism marketing.( Retrieved from: G.E. du Rand, University of Pretoria, Towards a Framework for Food Tourism as an Element of Destination Marketing)
2.2.1 Motivation Factor
Gastronomic tourism applied to tourists and visitors who plan their trips partially or totally in order to taste the cuisine of the place or to carry out activities related to gastronomy.(UNWTO) Often, food experience and desire to taste something different and unusual induces people to go far away from their homes and experience new cultures and customs. It becomes a motivation factor for travelling and represents very ?visually? the differences in cultures.
Tourist motivations constitute a key concept for the design and creation of products and services that add value for tourists. Motivations are related to consumer satisfaction and are considered a key component in understanding the decision-making process of visitors.(UNWTO).
According to Kim, Eves and Scarles (2009), there are nine motivational factors for tourists to travel. The exciting experience, learning or knowledge, and authentic experience are essential motives when it comes to local food. No matter whether trying different kinds of food is the main purpose for tourists to travel, food can at least provide extra opportunities for tourists to be in a more memorable and enjoyable holiday atmosphere than they expected. Gastronomy is thus seen as an important source of marketable images and experiences for the tourist.
Holloway (1998) calls these needs basic needs, e.g. food, water, air. Hjalager and Antonioli Corigliano (2000) add that eating is a physical necessity but catering services and food images are also very important ingredients of cultural tourism.
1.2.2 Food Tourism in Destination Marketing
After analyzing the survey created by UNWTO was conducted among the UNWTO Members, working in diverse sectors around the world to know their opinion about current situation with the Food Tourism. From the survey we can see that 88.2% of respondents consider gastronomy as a strategic element in defining the brand image of the destination.68% of the organizations consulted carry out marketing activities or promotion based on Food Tourism( UNWTO Report).
Food can also provide the basis of branding and marketing activities, including:
· Partnerships between food producers, restaurants and the tourism industry
· Setting standards for local foods
· Lifestyle positioning, emphasizing the attractiveness of lifestyles related to gastronomy Identifying niches
· Theming and packaging
· Developing specialty restaurants( UNWTO report)
In a similar manner, as stated by (Ja Young (Jacey) Choe,2018) Guan (2012) shows that tourists who rate the local cuisine highly also perceive the destination as attractive and express overall satisfaction with their trip. Moreover, Kim et ?l. (2012) report th?t the enh?nced n?tion?l im?ge c?used by enjoying Kore?n food motiv?tes consumers to visit Kore? for food tourism. In ? simil?r vein, Kim et ?l. (2014) ?rgue th?t the positive im?ge of ? food-origin country, which is gener?ted by tourists’ experience with its food, is rel?ted to the intention to revisit ?nd recommend the destin?tion to others.
Food tourism is regarded as one of the attractions offered in a destination and can therefore constitute part of the destination marketing strategy of a destination. From the preceding perspectives it is apparent that destination marketing and food tourism are linked. No destination can therefore afford to ignore the importance of food as either a key or more often a supportive attraction.( Du Rand)
2.2.3 Sustainable development
The concept of sustainable competitiveness was adopted in the study of Ritchie and Crouch (2003) which entails the ability to increase tourism expenditure by attracting a larger number of tourists, providing them with satisfying, memorable experiences, profitably, while enhancing the well-being of destination residents and preserving the natural capital of the destination for future generations.
In these terms, gastronomy tourism can be a good influencer on the development of the touristic region, providing environmental friendly products and also encouraging local inhabitants working inside of the region.
The promotion of local and regional food is an effective way of supporting and strengthening the tourism and agricultural sectors of local economies by: preserving culinary heritage and adding value to the authenticity of the destination; broadening and enhancing the local and regional tourism resource base; and stimulating agricultural production. The development of a framework and guidelines for developing and implementing food tourism can enable destination marketers and current and prospective entrepreneurs to optimize the tourism potential of local and regional food(Retrieved from: G.E. du Rand, University of Pretoria, Towards a Framework for Food Tourism as an Element of Destination Marketing)
Food tourism is capable of addressing cultural and environmental concerns in a way that is compatible with purely economic arguments (Unwto annual report)
There is a growing number of individuals interested in environmentally and socially sustainably produced food both in their day-to-day shopping habits (Grunert, Brunsø, & Bisp, 1993) and on their holidays (Murray, 2011).
According to Quan and Wang (2003), food tourism holds several implications such as: adding value to agricultural products; providing a theme to build up attractions; utilizing culture of foods as a food related event; incorporating food into mega events; and enhancing the local identity for destination marketing and development.
4. Local Food Experience
4.1 Success factors of local food experience
A study by Telfer and Wall (1996) as cited in Gerrie et.al (2003), the use of local food can directly or indirectly contribute to the various elements of sustainability in a particular area, namely stimulating and supporting agricultural activity and food production; preventing authentic exploitation
The home-made character of many food specialties creates memories which are difficult to forget (Pine & Gilmore, 1998).
Food consumption enables local food producers to add value to their products by creating a tourist experience around the raw materials (Hjalager & Richards, 2002a).(retrieved from S. Quan, N. Wang / Tourism Management) Food has been proven as an important means of selling the Identity and culture of a destination and this combined with other a variety of cultural signs and symbols of the location make up the experience as a whole (Tikkanen, 2007)Food is considered as a reflection of the culture of a country and its people. It is therefore the ideal product to offer as an attraction in a destination and has many possibilities to be used as a marketing tool.( Retrieved from: G.E. du Rand, University of Pretoria, Towards a Framework for Food Tourism as an Element of Destination Marketing)
4. Local Food Experience
4.1 Success factors of local food experience
Originally gastronomy was for the nobility, but over time the concept has also come to include the ‘peasant food’ typical of regional and local cuisine (Richards, 2002). Due to this local and regional food became one of the important components of food tourism and holds great potential to contribute to sustainable competitiveness in a destination, both from a tourism development and a destination marketing perspective.( Retrieved from: G.E. du Rand, University of Pretoria, Towards a Framework for Food Tourism as an Element of Destination Marketing)
Hjalager and Richards (2002) stated that tasting local food is an essential part of the tourism experience since it can serve as both a cultural activity and entertainment. Local food and beverages on holiday also play an important role in introducing tourists new flavours and different traditions at destinations (Fields, 2002; Ryu and Jang, 2006; Sparks, 2007).(retrieved from Kim, 2009).
At the same time study by Telfer and Wall (1996) as cited in Gerrie et.al (2003), shows that local food can not only contribute to developing of tourists experience but also be an important part of destination competitiveness. It states that the use of local food can directly or indirectly contribute to the various elements of sustainability in a particular area, namely stimulating and supporting agricultural activity and food production; preventing authentic exploitation; enhancing destination attractiveness; empowerment of the community (by means of job creation and encouraging entrepreneurs hip); generating pride, specifically regarding food; and reinforcing brand identity of the destination with the focus on food experiences in that area. Fr?m this perspective it can be seen that l?cal f??d plays an imp?rtant r?le in the devel?pment ?f the destinati?n b?th as t?uristic attracti?n and as an ec?n?mically devel?ped area.
3.2. Local food in gastronomy tourism promotion
As it can be seen in previous researches, such as (Boniface, 2003; Cohen & Evieli, 2004; Hall & Sharples, 2003; Hjalager & Richards, 2002) food tourism, in its broadest sense, has gained a higher profile as a pull factor in destination marketing. Moreover, food can play an important role in differentiating destinations in a meaningful way. Because cuisines are ‘branded’ by nationality (Chinese, French, Italian, Turkish, Mexican, etc.), the opportunity exists to create a positive association between a style of food and a destination(Retrieved from Bendegul Okumus)
Indeed, for a local cuisine to become a popular attraction in its own right, it has to be filtered through tourism-oriented culinary establishments. Of principal interest for the present purposes are those establishments that seek to serve tourists ”authentic”, but tasty, local food, under environmental conditions which filter out those aspects of the local culinary situation which are vile to tourists.
The commercialization of food and wine routes, the staging of food festivals, or the building of a museum are some of the means that producers/retailers of local food use to create alliances with other stakeholders in the region that commodities the common sense of place to tourists (Brunori, 2006). As stated by Okumus et. al (2007, p. 254) in Reza Alberto(2014) “tourists’ buying behavior can be influenced positively towards consuming local food through active marketing.”(retrieved from Reza Alberto).
Social media plays a role in driving the interest and enthusiasm in food experiences. Hence food tourism is massively popular among millennials, who share their food experiences on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. It is possible for marketers to acquire additional promotion through organizing events, such as market feast or beer festivals, and encouraging millennials to share the experiences on social media. Furthermore, a recent study by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) involving the UNWTO Affiliate Members working in different sectors, shows that food events are the most popular tourism product, followed by cooking class and workshops, as well as food fairs highlighting local products.( https://www.millionmetrics.com/food-tourism/)
The Enteleca Research and Consultancy (2000, p. 3) segmented the market into five groups: (1) food tourists, (2) interested purchasers; (3) the un-reached; (4) the un-engaged; and (5) laggards. The study concluded that food has an important role in the purchase decision for about half of tourists surveyed. ‘Food tourists’ are the most committed group, but, as with other true special interest populations, represent only between 6% and 8% of the sample. Local food has an important role in their destination choice. ‘Interested purchasers’, represent about one-third of the population. Food to them contributes to holiday satisfaction and they sample local food when the opportunity arises ( Retrieved from B. Okumus).