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Food in destination image

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    Food in destination image

    Food has been one of the important markers of regional and ethnic identity along with language, religion, and other distinguishing elements of culture. Food can be seen as a mix of intangible and tangible heritage element that benefit the cultural values and characteristics of places (Timothy & Ron, 2013). There is no doubt that food is a critical part of the tourism system. Food service quality plays an important role in over all tourist experience, and few things can bring negative feeling in the destination with unpleasant memories (Timothy & Ron, 2013). Thus, how does food influence the destination image? This question could be a very interesting topic to discuss.

    Food-ways encompass more than the foodstuff itself which includes the culinary smells, sights, sound, and eating practices of a people or region (Timothy & Ron, 2013). According to the research of Bessiere (2013), food can be considered of inter-culture exchange that contributes to the construction of social identities, and it also can be considered as a resource for destination promotion strategy. Meanwhile, Timothy and Ron (2013) stated that on important relationship between destination image and marketing is cuisine as an image-maker or image-enhancer for tourist destinations. Food-ways are important part of the destination branding throughout the world (Che, 2006; Lin, Pearson, &Cai, 2011 cited in Timothy & Ron, 2013). Qingdao beer which is very famous drinking brand in China attracts tourists to Qingdao every year (, 2014;, 2014). Timothy and Ron (2013) also mentioned several articles that food-ways could influence the destination image, such as food-based tourism can help to enhance and reinvigorate a place’s image; traditional foods can augment the competitiveness of tourist destination to attracting tourists; and traditional fare can affect the tourist experience positively and help to create a destination brand. The ethnic restaurants outside the original homeland could helps people see the those dining experiences of authenticity, which potentially can translate in to an increased desire to visit the original country of a favorite ethic dish (Timothy & Ron, 2013). One of the interesting points that mentioned by Timothy and Ron (2013) is Food-ways based images can develop more spontaneously through several processed, including migration and colonialism.



    by Heran Liu











    Bessière, J. (2013). ‘Heritagisation’, a challenge for tourism promotion and regional development: an example of food heritage. Journal of Heritage Tourism, 8(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., (2014). Qingdao International Beer Festival. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 Dec. 2014]., (2014). 青岛啤酒博物馆(新闻中心). [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 Dec. 2014].

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    Hello Heran,

    Thank you for your interesting article.

    Food heritage is a crucial topic indeed, as it is a basic part of the tourists experience within the destination. I like that you posed a question at the beginning of your text, it makes it easier to follow your thoughts. However, I think it would have been interesting if you would have answered your research question (how food influences the image of the destination) more in detail, maybe with the help of an example. It would for instance be interesting to find out how exactly the Qingdao beer influences the image of the city?!

    I would also suggest to give the picture a title and reference, but apart from that, well done!

    Best regards,

    Posted 23:41, 9 Dec 2014
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