FOOD in Tourism Mar­ket­ing

Tourism Tattler - - MARKETING - By Dr. Peter E. Tar­low About the Author: Dr. Peter E. Tar­low pub­lishes a monthly ‘Tourism Tid­bits' news­let­ter. He is a founder of the Texas chap­ter of TTRA, Pres­i­dent of T&M, and a pop­u­lar author and speaker on tourism. Tar­low is a spe­cial­ist in the area

There is lit­tle doubt that food is a ma­jor part of the tourism ex­pe­ri­ence. Be­cause eat­ing is an essen­tial part of liv­ing, food or culi­nary tourism has a broad base of ap­peal. In fact, of­ten when vis­i­tors re­turn home, one of the first ques­tions that peo­ple ask is “how is the food?”

The in­ter­ac­tion be­tween tourism and food is of­ten called culi­nary tourism. In re­al­ity this is a broad term that of­ten means dif­fer­ent things to dif­fer­ent peo­ple. Schol­ars de­fine culi­nary tourism along the lines of: vis­i­tors hav­ing the op­por­tu­nity of par­tak­ing in unique and mem­o­rable eat­ing and drink­ing ex­pe­ri­ences. Culi­nary tourism tries to pro­vide au­then­tic lo­cal cuisines that rep­re­sent both the tastes and smells of a na­tion as a part of that lo­cale's cul­tural of­fer­ings and her­itage. This def­i­ni­tion, how­ever, may speak more to a lo­cale's ‘haute cui­sine' than to the eat­ing ex­pe­ri­ence of the av­er­age lo­cal res­i­dent. The World Food Tourism As­so­ci­a­tion sup­ports this as­ser­tion, not­ing that “only 8.1% of all food­ies self-iden­tify with the ‘gourmet' la­bel.” Thus the as­so­ci­a­tion ar­gues that most peo­ple en­joy good food and drink but there is no nec­es­sary re­la­tion­ship be­tween the en­joy­ment of a culi­nary ex­pe­ri­ences and the cost of that ex­pe­ri­ence.

Of­ten the most in­ter­est­ing culi­nary ex­pe­ri­ences come from a va­ri­ety of so­cial and eco­nomic classes. Fur­ther­more, ev­ery com­mu­nity has a culi­nary food po­ten­tial, al­though of­ten vis­i­tors or tourists do not get to ex­pe­ri­ence it and at times the lo­cal pop­u­la­tion un­der ap­pre­ci­ates it.

For some ideas, cau­tions, and ex­pe­ri­ences aimed at help­ing you cre­ate a lo­cal culi­nary tourism ex­pe­ri­ence that will add pride to your own com­mu­nity, sim­ply sub­scribe to my lat­est Tid­bits news­let­ter at: www.touris­man­d­­bits-news­let­ter-signup/

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