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Heritage Cuisine as Image Maker for a Destination
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Heritage cuisines express regional as well as ethnic identity of people, showcasing agricultural traditions, social cultures and values of the society. Traditional culinary processes and cuisines of a society reflect the status, mentalities, heritages recipes and food habits of the current generation and previous generations (Bessière, Timothy and Ron, 2013). Cuisine as a heritage is a mixture of tangible aspects like; ingredients and cooking utensils together with the intangible aspects like; cooking tradition, the visual, smell and taste components of the food. Traditional cuisines play a major role as image maker for tourist destination (Timothy and Ron, 2013). On the process of promoting a destination and developing marketing strategy cuisines and culinary practices contribute on the promotional attractiveness for marketing companies at the local and international level (Bessière, 2013). Local heritage cuisine often marks the destination with authenticity, by enhancing the destination image at the same time contributing to the destinations competitive advantage. There is also a tendency that traditional cuisine restaurants outside the home country or region create an image for the destination. In addition to promoting the cuisine, restaurants abroad also represent the destination by décor, music, way of eating and other cultural values of the society, leading to increased desire to visit the origin of the food (Timothy and Ron, 2013).
Figure 1, Traditional Japanese cuisine listed on UNESCO Intangible Heritage List.
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.
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/201.../#.VHZGBTHF-AU, (2014). [image].
By Yonas Mamo
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