The Role Of Food In Tourism Tourism Essay

Tourism is fundamentally about the difference of place (Relph, 1996). “definitions of tourism can be classified into two main groups. First, there are conceptual definitions which attempt to elucidate the essential nature of tourism as an activity. Secondly, there are technical definitions which are used to designate those who take part in this activity (the tourist, visitor, holidaymaker, excursionist and day tripper) and are employed by the various agencies responsible for compiling statistics and reports on tourism. Conceptual definitions of tourism subdivide into those which emphasize the demand or market aspects of tourism, and those which regard tourism from the vantage point of its links with recreation and leisure activity.” (John Heeley, Lecturer in tourism studies Scottish Hotel School, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, 1980). Tourism researchers have often drawn parallels between holiday making and consumption, and Richard (2002) identifies a convergence between experiential consumption, work on what tourist eat and why, and Wolf (2002) work on culinary tourist. The increasing competition among territories forces tourism industry to define new strategies in order to improve the position of each area, thus attracting more tourism flows (Dwyer, 2009; Yeoman, 2009) and enhancing economic advantages (Zhang, 2009; Bornhorst, 2010). According to Mathieson and Wall, 1982, tourism is “The temporary movement of people to destinations outside their normal places of work and residence, the activities undertaken during their stay in those destinations, and the facilities created to cater to these needs” (Gunn, 1988).

Food description

Food is an important component in tourism. Food as a significant attraction while people travel (Bessiere, 1998; Cohen & Avieli,2004). Traditional food and cuisine could be excellent tourist attraction in rural travel destinations and also claimed that eating local cuisine might be an integral part of the travel experience because food serves ad both entertainment and a cultural activity (Bessiere,1998). As a signi¬cant component of contemporary lifestyles it should therefore be of little surprise that speci¬c forms of wine and food consumption have also become an important part of tourism (Hall and Mitchell, 2000). Food is a significant means to penetrate into another culture (Long, 1998). Local food is a fundamental component of a destination’s attributes, adding to the range of attractions and the overall tourist experience (Symons, 1999). Traveling for food has taken an entirely new meaning from what it used to when voyages were undertaken for spice trade, but voyagers still carried dried food, as the local cuisines were looked upon with suspicion (Tannahill, 1988). Food is also described as any substance that provides the nutrients necessary to maintain life and growth when ingested. Food without the appliance of gastronomy is the style of art of cooking in a particular area. Food is of course, a component of gastronomy but it is gastronomy’s subject whereas gastronomy is the style of procedure for preparing food. In some instances, gastronomy can represent a key feature of importance in the attractiveness of a tourist area. The catering industry is often a vital component of the lure to tourists as to represent a substantial amount of the overall attraction. In many European and Asian countries there is a strong gastronomic tradition and this represents an important element in tourist decision-making. If the gastronomy tradition is strong, this means that life-style and participation of the inhabitants in maintaining their way of life is reflected in their appreciation of their traditional food. Appreciation of wine and food is a very subjective experience that is based on individual sensory perception, experience, tastes and attitudes. The food tourist experience is shaped by the subjective nature of the individual consumer. Regionality is clearly important, particularly in term of promoting the attributes of food and tourism product of a given place. Food has always been a powerful motivation for almost all human activities and sitting at a richly decked table is a gratification common to people of any social condition. Probably the best way to described this is the one use by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarian at the beginning of 19th century in his “the physiology of taste”:

“the pleasure of the table belongs to all ages, to all condition, to all countries,

and to all areas; it mingles with all other pleasures, and remains at last to console us for their departure. At a later day when the human species was

more widely extended, the widely traveler used to sit at

such board and tell what he had seen

in foreign land. Thus hospitality was produced,

and its right were recognized everywhere.

There was never any one so ferocious as not to respect him

who had partaken of his bread and salt.”

The understanding of the importance of food as significant component in tourism is nowadays well accepted. The tourist pursue of striking experience is a basic driving force, and the attempt of developing features that can be recognized as distinguishing characteristics that could make it more appealing for visitors is a common effort of every tourism destination.

Culinary and cuisine description

Individual cities or even whole countries can be appealing for their special culinary attraction (Cohen and Avieli, 2004). Long (2003) mention that: “Explore food as both a destination and a vehicle for tourism”. A unique and memorable culinary identity was an indispensable assets for any successful tourist destination (Fox, 2007). Once the tourists have a good culinary experience, especially satisfaction level, the like of revisiting is high. The significant relationships suggest that food images and food attributes satisfaction are to be the key factor in heightening tourist behavior intentions. Major differences in world cuisines can be traced to ecological restraints and opportunities that differ from one region to another (Harris, 1985).

Culinary Tourism / culinary travel description

Based from the International Culinary Tourism Association, culinary tourism is the pursuit of unique and memorable eating and drinking experiences.  This means there is a particular audience of people who are willing to travel the world in order to sample and experience authentic international cuisines. Culinary tourism, an exploratory relationship to the edible world, is the subject of this beautifully conceived book. Whether we go to food or food comes to us, the nature of the encounter is what defines a food experience as culinary tourism. Culinary tourism is about food as a subject, destination and vehicle for tourism. It is about individual exploring foods new to them as well as using food to explore new culture and ways of being. It is about group using food to sell their histories and to construct marketable and publicly attractive identities, and it is about individual satisfying curiosity. Culinary tourism is not only appealing to tourists, but also contributes to the social, economic and environmental development of a destination (Corigliano, 2002). The term culinary tourism was first used by Dr. Lucy Long in 1998 to express the idea of experiencing other cultures through food (Wolf, 2002). Dr. Long states that “culinary tourism is about food; exploring and discovering culture and history through food and food related activities in the creation of memorable experiences” (Long, 2005). It was long (2003) who fist coined the term “Culinary Tourism” in 1998 to express the idea of experiencing other culture through food. Culinary and gastronomy tourism is travel in order to search and enjoy prepared food and drink. Experience also have the power to modify our eating preferences and tastes as well as imbue us with experience of the culture that we are visiting (John & Kivela, 2001; Kivela & Crotts, 2006; Kivela & Johns, 2002). Its normal that we should experience pleasure as an essential part of a holiday experience and that dining out should be a pleasurable and memorable part of that experience. The growth of culinary tourism is seen as an outcome of a trend where people spend much less time cooking, but choose to pursue their interest in food as a part of a leisure experience such as watching cooking shows, dining out and the like (Sharples, 2003). Food and tourism have a close relationship and food is a critical tourism resource (Henderson, 2004; Quan and Wang, 2004). According to the Travel Industry Association (TIA), culinary tourism is a growing travel trend. Many other states and regions of the world are actively developing and promoting Culinary Tourism. Research and policy development activities in the Michigan Department of Agriculture in recent years have indicated that wine and food tourism can make greater contributions to the economy and provide opportunities for producers of many specialty crops (Agricultural Tourism Commission – 2007 and Food Policy Council – 2006). To accomplish this goal, efforts must be coordinated to develop promotional messages and trip planning tools for consumers, and engage more Michigan restaurants in supporting local specialty crop producers. It is appropriate to say that the relationship between culinary and tourist destination is symbiotic because the destination provides the food, recipes, chef, and the cultural background that make culinary an ideal product for tourist consumption (Fields, 2002; Richard, 2002; Scarpato, 2002). The existential culinary tourists seek food and beverage combinations and eating experience that foster learning. For these type of tourist, food and beverage consumption does not only satisfy hunger and thirsty but important for them such consumption, knowledge about local regional cuisine, wine, and beverage and of the destination culture. The existential culinary tourists avoid expensive restaurant not only because of the price but also because the extravagant décor and service that often happens (Finkelstein, 1989). The potential of niche or special interest tourism such as culinary tourism as a trip generator has been questioned by some researchers (McKercher and Chan 2005). What is known is that food is an experiential tourist component of any tourist experience; there are tourists that will seek out food related activities at a destination instead of going to other attractions and that some tourists travel just for food. Young couples were also interested in culinary tourism (Lang-Research, 2001). Culinary travel is travel to learn about or enjoy unique and memorable eating and drinking experience, not necessarily just those that are exclusive or highly acclaimed, but all memorable eating and drinking experiences. Culinary traveler is an individual who has participated in one or more culinary activities while traveling in the past years. Cuisine is a saleable experience. Dining is the most memorable tourism experience. Nearly one hundred percentages of tourists dine out when traveling. Dining is consistently one of the top three favourite tourist activities. The higher the dinner bill, the more likely the patrons are tourist. Many culinary tourism are affluent individuals earning above average income. Interest in cuisine in travel is not reserved to a particular age, gender or ethnic of group. Unlike other travel activities and attraction, cuisine is available year around. Cuisine is experiential as it satisfies new traveler demands for interactive experience. Dining is a way to experience local culture. Directing tourist to exemplary cuisine experience adds value to tourist trips resulting in increased tourism spending, longer stay and repeat visits. Culinary tourism is not new. It is a subset of Agri-tourism that focuses specifically on the search for, and enjoyment of, prepared food and drink. Culinary tourism promotes all distinctive and impressive gastronomic experiences, not just those that have earned 4 stars or better. Previously overlooked, “culinary tourism” is an important new niche that fosters economic and community development and new intercultural insights. Culinary tourism can be found in rural or urban areas and should available to visit all year ’round. Defining culinary tourism was described as a deceptively simple task. It was acknowledged that eating is a fundamental aspect of every travel experience; however, articulating a definition for the multi-faceted, structured linkages between cuisine and tourism that form the foundation of culinary tourism was identified as a complex undertaking.

“When I was asked to speak on

‘What is Culinary Tourism?’

… I realized that it is a very, ve ry complex concept.”

“…It is likely that we have to create a whole philosophy, a whole idea, and

ma rket Canada as an eating destination.

There are other countries that have been very successful at doing this…

Take France … in France you do have some exce llent restaurants, but

really not a lot more per capita than other parts of the world. But you have

an incredible amount of very good restaurants. So maybe it is more about

the consistency of a product, then it is about a few incredible destinations,

or a few events.”

– Stefan Czapalay, Chef / Owner

Essence Food Consulting

The importance of food to travel is obvious to anyone whohas heard about someone’s vacation. Returning travelers tell of new foods eaten, new habits learned, and sometimes, in the case of spa and cooking-school vacations, of travel specifically for the food. In 1998, folklorist Lucy Long (a Penn Ph.D.) first used the term “culinary tourism” to indicate travel for the purpose of experiencing other cultures through their food. Culinary tourism has since engendered a number of academic books and articles. Culinary tourism providers see a range of ages among food tourists, but people in their 40s and 50s are most common. “Culinary tourism is shock treatment. It brings life into view through the surprises afforded by the unexpected and the unplanned Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” as John Lennon is said.

Connection between food and tourism

Consumption is an integral aspect of the tourist experience, with the tourist consuming not only the sights and sounds, but also the taste of a place. Nearly, all tourists eat and dine out. . Local food is a fundamental component of a destination’s attributes, adding to the range of attractions and the overall tourist experience (Symons, 1999). This makes food an essential constituent of tourism production as well as consumption. Such developments have spurred an interest in experiencing the unique and indigenous food, food products and cuisines of a destination, so much so that people are often traveling to a destination specifically to experience the local cuisines or to taste the dishes of its ‘celebrity chef’ (Mitchell & Hall, 2003). Traveling for food has taken an entirely new meaning from what it used to when voyages were undertaken for spice trade, but voyagers still carried dried food, as the local cuisines were looked upon with suspicion (Tannahill, 1988). Local food or cuisines that are unique to an area are one of the distinctive resources that may be used as marketing tools to get more visitors. The growth of eating out as a form of consumption and the market forces of globalization have made the food products and cuisines from all over the world more accessible. This has stimulated the emergence of food as a theme in magazines (Cuisine, Gourmet Traveler, Food and Travel), radio shows (Chef’s Table, Splendid Table), and television, particularly cable television, with food shows focusing on travel and travel shows on food. In fact, the popularity of twenty-four hour television channels, such as the Food Network devoted to food and the place that food comes from, intertwines food with tourism so much that quite often it is hard to determine whether one is watching a food show or a travel show.

The Relationship between Food and Tourism

Food has been recognized as an effective promotional and positioning tool of a destination (Hjalager & Richards, 2002). Similarly, with increasing interest in local cuisine, more destinations are focusing on food as their core tourism product. For example, France, Italy, and Thailand have been known for their cuisine. The importance of the connection between food and tourism cannot be ignored. Each destination has different levels of attractiveness that can draw tourists from different countries (Au & Law, 2002). Authentic and interesting food can attract visitors to a destination. The destination will use food as the main attraction and will develop marketing strategies that will focus on the food. It is important for marketers of a culinary destination to know the image currently held by its targeted customers and how to affect their intention to visit through effective marketing strategies. Frochot (2003) recommended food images can be utilized to exhibit the cultural aspects of a country. As such, destinations can use food to represent its cultural experience, status, cultural identity, and communicating. Cuisines that are highly known for their taste and quality can be developed into tourist products (Hobsbawn & Ranger, 1983). Jones and Jenkins (2002) recommended that food is not only a basic need for tourists, but also a cultural element that can positively present a destination. Given that food can be used to project the identity and culture of a destination, food consumption can be used in the development of a destination image (Quan & Wang, 2004). In addition, food consumption also contributes to the economy of a destination, and provides tourists with a local experience. Culinary or gastronomical activities of a destination also are categorized as part of cultural tourism. Cultural tourism may include experiencing the cultural attractions as well as sampling the local food (Richards, 1996). Food can convey unique experience and enjoyment to travelers (Quan and Wang, 2004). Specifically, food may totally enhance tourists’ experience and can be the most memorable part of the trip.

Malaysian culinary

Malaysian cuisine or culinary part represents a culinary diversity originating from Malaysia’s multiethnic society. For many centuries, Malaysia is considered to be the melting pot of Asia endowed with a potpourri of international class cuisine. Malaysian food is a culinary diversity originating from its multi-ethnic population of Malay, Indian, Chinese, Nyonya, Eurasian and the indigenous people of Borneo (Sabah and Sarawak), hence, offering a diverse menu as well as some very unique blends of their multi-ethnic dishes making the country a gourmet’s paradise. The problem for a tourist is not to find fine food, but deciding what to eat. The pleasure of enjoy the fabulous Malaysian cuisine is a culinary delight not to be found in any other country beside Malaysia itself. Malaysian food worldwide and generating their behaviors, because image has been shown to be an important influence in the selection of a destination (Baloglu and McCleary, 1999; Beerli and Martin, 2004). Since tourists are likely to rely on image, all effective marketing strategies should aim at improving the Malaysian food image in the minds of tourists. Tourist satisfaction with the quality and value of food and accessibility convenience were relatively high. Malaysian food is renowned for its multiple combinations of flavors and variety. It is great challenge to stimulate international tourist to enjoy the food and to strengthen Malaysia position as a world class food attribute satisfaction from international tourist perspective and subsequently assess their overall satisfaction with eating experience and behavioral intention. Malaysian food contributes to eating pleasure, eating Malaysian food adds to visiting enjoyment, and the food experience in Malaysia meets expectation. This indicated that Malaysian food played an important role to impart memorable and positive image of Malaysia as a tourism destination as tourist were agreeable that Malaysian food added value to their vacation experience in Malaysia. The culture of Malaysia through Malaysian food was rated slightly a bit high compared to other attributed.

Major drivers of culinary tourism

The increased interest in culinary tourism can be attributed to a number of factors. Firstly, today’s consumers have become environmentally and health conscious leading to demand for pure, fresh, and healthful ingredients derived through responsible agricultural practices (Getz, 2000; Wolf, 2002). Food is now seen not just as a source of nutrition, but also as a part of a slower-paced, quality lifestyle. Dedicate to slowing down different aspect of life and to promoting authentic, traditional local food, as well as to improving our overall quality of life (Slow Food, 2001). Other factors fueling the culinary tourism phenomenon include growing interest in specialty food and beverages associated with multicultural societies like Canada and the U.S as well as culture-specific product sampling (Getz, 2000; Wolf, 2002). For instance, the mixing of different cultures has led to increased sophistication in tastes and expectations and has raised consumer curiosity about different cuisines and ingredients. Even when food is not the main focus of travel, eat one must, whether or not a memorable experience is the goal. Making experiences memorable is a way the travel industry adds value and profit to an essential service like food. Indeed, the tourism and hospitality industries design experiences, including culinary ones, within the constraints of the tourist’s time, space, and means.

Tourist perception and behavior

Visitors interested in both food and wine tended to have the highest socio-economic profiles, engaged in more activities than the other two sectors, traveled for different reasons and were most likely to stay at spas, hotels, inns and resorts (Ignatov, 2003). Tourist satisfaction is a result of comparing tourist experiences at the destination visited and expectations about destination (Pizam, Neumann, and Reichel, 1978). The impact of Malaysian food images on tourist overall satisfaction with food experience was significantly different. The relationship between satisfaction with food attributes and overall satisfaction also was significant. The influence of overall satisfaction has an important effect on tourist behavior intentions. It has been generally accepted in the literature that intention to revisit has a strong relationship with overall satisfaction with the perceived food experience during visiting (Kivela and Crotts, 2006; Ryu and Jang, 2006). One of the functions of the destination foodservice industries is the provision of those experiences and feeling that individuals believe they should be having while on holiday or while travelling (Johns & Kivela, 2001). It is normal that we should experience pleasure as an essential part of a holiday experience, and dining out or a culinary or tour. Human’s research (1986) indicates that many individuals feel that ethnic food in their own country would be better than the same food in the country of origin’ needs further exploration. For the tourism industry, quality will not just be about better services, better food within the gastronomy context. It will be required that the cultural product be looked at from a holistic approach, regarded not merely as a tourist product but as the essence of a precious heritage which needs to be enhanced and its authenticity retained. The tourist industry has an important task to promote change and allow continuity. The tourism industry implies that eating is a major part of the tourist experience but not a major generator of travel itself (Hudman, 1986). The tourist of the third millennium travelling to a destination are more educated and better informed that their predecessors and are more willing to have a direct experience of the cultural and natural differences. When anything visible can be seen on television or explored in front of a computer connected to the internet, eating the food of another culture could as extreme case, be the only experience motivating the physical move to a different location (Game, 1991). Tourists enjoy native food, particularly the products of local or ethnic nature (McIntosh and Goelder, 1990). The knowledge of local, regional and national cuisine is of great interest for every tourist and is an important part of the tourist experience; palate satisfaction is at the first place among the pleasures of a travelling experience. The impression that the traveler retains strongly influences the value and memory of the trip, not only from the restaurant visited, but also everything experienced during the trip. The aftertaste of a vacation period is strongly individual, affected mostly by immaterial factors where the boundary between self and enjoyment of the vacation is almost invisible. It is very difficult to find the right level to reach the tourist demand and more to satisfy it.

Gastronomy as tourist motivation

According to National restaurant association research, more than two thirds of restaurant operator reported that tourists are important to their business (NRA, 2002). The importance og gastronomy for the tourism industry is testified by a number of surveys, although dedicated research in this field is not very thoroughly developed. More than 67 million travelers said that they dine out when travelling, and that dining out was the most popular activity planned after tourists arrive at a destination (Travel industry association of America, 1998). The level of participation in food preparation varies quite a bit from location to location and tour to tour. Where food is the focus of travel, as in gastronomic tourism, itineraries are organized around cooking schools, wineries, restaurants, and food festivals.

Development of food habits

The term food habits refers to the ways in which human use food, including how food is obtained and stored, how it is prepared, how it is served and to whom, how its consumed. A.H.Maslow’s theory of human maturation as applied to food habits explain how food use progresses from eating for existence to eating for self actualization (Lowenberg, 1970). The correlation between what people eat, how other perceives them, and how they characterize themselves is striking. Food as self expression is especially evident in experience of dining out. Conversely, exposure to different foods in restaurant is sometimes the first step in adopting new food items at home (McComber & Postel, 1992).

Role of culture in food habit

Culture is broadly defined as the values, beliefs, attitudes, and practices accepted by a community of individuals. Cultural behavior patterns are reinforced when a group is isolated by geography or segregated by socioeconomic status. Culture is learned, not inherited, it is passed from generation to generation through a process called enculturation (Plawecki, 1992). Culturally based food habits are often one of the last traditions people change through acculturation. Consumption of new items is often independent of traditional food habits (Pelto et al, 1981; Dewey et all, 1984; Szathmary et all, 1987). Each cultural group has a unique outlook on life based on the beliefs, attitude, values, and practices they share. Food habits are also indicative of worldview (Schilling & Brannon, 1986; Randall David, 1989). Cultural tourists are generally interested in the products and culture of a particular destination as well as experiencing and learning about the culture (Richards, 1996). The cuisine of a country can showcase its cultural or national identity (Rand, Heath, & Alberts, 2003).

Tourist Food Consumption

Food consumption is helpful in understanding food tourism. Combining the macro theory of globalization and the micro theory of cultural capital to explain food tourism. The dynamics of world culture theory of globalization (Robertson, 1991, 1992) are at play in the tourist food consumption. level of exposure to the foreign foods and cuisines at home depends on one’s position in the socio-cultural echelon. Extrapolating from the cultural capital theory, tourists who possess the cultural capital to appreciate and enjoy foreign food at home are the ones who are more likely to experience the local food at the destination (Cohen & Avieli, 2004). , since eating out is a necessary element of the vacation experience, and almost all tourists eat out, destinations become a playground for accruing as well as deploying one’s cultural capital. Where the tourist eats and what he eats exhibits the socio-cultural echelons he belongs to, and makes food an ideal tool for social cohesion and social stratification. Travelers who are more interested in eating than cooking also have organized touring options. When tourist travel through the world exploring food, they get interesting window about the culture and the environment because food is the bridge between the land and the culture.

Relationships between Malaysian Tourist Satisfaction and Behavioral Intention

Malaysian population is built on ethnic diversity, inheriting ancestral norms, culture, native language and culinary heritage that are being practiced till today. Over time, the ethnic assimilation formed a unique Malaysian culture. This multiculturalism among the different races produced a distinctive cuisine of Malaysia is described as Asia greatest cuisine meet and mingle that have been bedrock in forming and shaping the dishes. Traditional cuisine and warm hospitality coupled with mouth watering cuisine forms the perfect ingredient to produce a positive image to tourist. These strengths can be capitalized to further enhance images that portray the true Malaysia.

Factors influencing Consumers’ Preferred Shopping Location for Food 

Food tourism as niche and special interest tourism. Source: After Hall & Sharples, 2003


C:UsersUser1Desktopblm diliatThe 3 Steps to Culinary Tourism – International Culinary Tourism Association_files3steps.png

3 Steps to Culinary Tourism describe the 3 phases of the culinary tourism life cycle as it pertains to acquiring and leveraging knowledge of the industry.  Every single business and destination around the globe can be described by one of the 3 steps

STEP 1: LEARN. In this step, know what is culinary tourism and what does the International Culinary Tourism Association do. This step is for build a solid understanding of the culinary tourism industry.

STEP 2: DEVELOP. This develop step is for leverage that knowledge into something productive, ready to develop your product. The International Culinary Tourism Association an advantage over competitors.

STEP 3: PROMOTE. In this step, promoting products is the thing to do. Developed unique ways to help you promote business

Destination No. of tourists























Source: ASEAN Promotion Centre on Trade, Investment and Tourism 2007, 100.

This study was empirically tested with two hypotheses as follows:

Tourist satisfactions toward their behavior of the image of Malaysian food will signifantly contribute to tourist revisit intention.

There is a relationship tourist behavior and region of the tourist come from (demographic profile of the tourist)

Food and culinary

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