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Food heritagisation as destination image?

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    Food has for long been an important factor, when it comes to destination images and authenticity (Timothy and Ron, 2013). Next to the fact that it is a basic need for every tourist at a destination, it is also a way for tourists to experience the authenticity of a culture (ibid). Many destinations are brought in context with certain food. The destination image is often seen in context with the national main dish, for example Italy with Pasta and Pizza or Spain is mainly linked with Paella. Besides this, it is also a reason why tourists visit a country, as they want to try the “real” food and not only the way the dishes are made at their home destinations (ibid). Therefore, food tourism is a big part of the tourism industry (Timothy and Ron, 2013). Nevertheless, the authenticity of the “real” food experience is, sadly, in many ways influenced by the fact that tourism is a business, in which profit has to be done. This means that the authenticity of the “real” food experience is often not what the tourist is expecting, but moreover overcrowded places, which offer the tourist overprized dining possibilities. Nevertheless, food tourism is a main aspect when it comes to cultural heritage in combination with tourism (Timothy and Ron, 2013). Therefore, it should be included in the marketing of the image of a destination (Bessiere, 2013). The advantage of food tourism within a destination is that it is easy to promote, as food is a necessary need for everybody. Furthermore, the local community can easily be involved, which can and should lead to a more authentic experience for the tourist (Bessiere, 2013).

     

     

     

    References:

     

    Bessiere, J. (2013) ‘Heritagisation’, a challenge for tourism promotion and regional development: an example of food heritage. Journal of Heritage Tourism. Vol. 8, No. 4, pp. 275–291.

    Timothy, D. and Ron, A. (2013). Understanding heritage cuisines and tourism: identity, image, authenticity, and change. Journal of Heritage Tourism, 8(2-3), pp.99-104.

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