Tourism industry is a largest growing industry. It usually promoted by a country for increase economic development and cut down the inequalities in income distribution. It can create sales and output, employment retribution and service, exchange earnings, balance of payments advantages and important infrastructure developments to benefit locals and tourists similarly in a nation, a state, a city and other local areas (Frechtling & Horvath, 1999). Efforts to make the most of the economic benefits derived from tourism in destination areas have focused on marketing and management strategies to increase the number of tourists, their length of stay and their overall expenditures.
Food is one of the most main attractions required by tourists in their craving for fresh and memorable experiences. On the other hand, food is a very much unobserved and unsung section of the tourism literature. Normally, food is stickled together with accommodation in compilations of tourism statistics, partially perhaps because of it being almost always part of another attraction, and also because of it being a needed component of survival no matter where a person is located. In addition, the contribution of food to the tourism economy is very considerable importance and because of their demanding use of labour, food preparation and service also contribute very heavily to the tourism employment sector.
Food tourism can be regarded as a form of niche or alternative tourism and as a result of increasing competition and a change in tourist wants in terms of destination experience, is now more often being included as a new or additional sector in the travel and tourism businesses (Poon, 1993). This condition affords food tourism the opportunity to be an important source of marketable images and experiences for the tourist, reinforcing the competitiveness and sustainability of the destination. The food and tourism industries benefit from this interactions, as local and regional food products become an important means of selling the identity and culture of a destination and enables food producers to add value to their products by creating a tourism experience around the raw materials.
Food tourism also can be briefly described as the opportunity to market value added produce to visitors and tourists within a district who will consider local food as a part of their visit experience. The local food plan provides it and factor of experience as part of the visit to a region which presents opportunities for producers and suppliers. This chance has been known and highlighted by tourism agencies and through the enterprise network and ongoing initiatives seek to take advantage of the combination of natural beauty and product.
Culinary tourism is one of the important components of the rapidly growing cultural tourism market. It introduces tourists to new experience and different traditions associated with the preparation, serving, and consuming of foods and beverages.
The factors fuelling the culinary tourism experience include growing interest in speciality food and beverages associated with multicultural societies like Asia countries as well as culture-specific product sampling. For instance, the mixing of different cultures has led to increased superiority in tastes and expectations and has raised tourist’s interest about different cuisines. By the requisition, some hotels or inns may suggest their guests’ samples of local food and drink (e.g. a bottle of locally produced wine) thus helping the customers associates them with the particular culture or destination.
2. Food, Culture and Tourism
2.1 What Do Restaurants Do?
An exclusive food and drink experience has the power to attract tourists like museums, leisure and shopping. Now the Food Tourism is the hottest niche to emerge within the travel industry in years because dining is one of the best ways that visitors can get to know a new and exotic environment. It is because the local foods and recipes are major parts of what makes one place different from another, restaurants should create exclusive and outstanding food and drink experiences to build inspiration and develop a competitive advantage.
The tourists can be a visitor who has travelled to town specifically to dine at your restaurant. A culinary tourist can also be a business traveller who decides to dine at restaurant. Nearly a hundred percents of tourists dine out when travelling and dining is constantly one of the top three most wanted by tourist’s activities. Unlike other travel actions and attractions, cuisine is available year and year, any time of day and in any weather.
2.1.1 How to Promote?
It is important that restaurant take full advantage of the regions food tourism opportunities by establishing itself as a unique and memorable dining destination that locals will refer visitors to and tourists will want to return to again and again. A. Parking
Limited parking will destroy the food tourism. Most of the guests are likely to pass over to restaurant if they really can’t find a suitable place to park. Make it easy for guests to get though the front door by providing a lot of parking places and a complimentary valet service or point out a place where parking is available. B.
One of the main reasons that food tourism is an idea that tourists can get something at the restaurant or in the city that they can’t get back to home. The restaurant should take advantage of this idea by spot a local or regional speciality and creating an own version of it. C. Relationship with Local Residents
The local resident base can be the restaurant’s greatest food tourism ambassadors. One of the top question tourists ask locals when visiting a new place is “Where is a good place to eat around here?” If the restaurant builds loyalty with locals, probability are they will direct tourists to visit the restaurant. D. Being Together as a Unit to Increase Business
When it comes to food tourism, do not observe other restaurant as competition. Partner with other local restaurants to create a food event or festival that will benefit the city’s whole dining scene. Being together with other restaurants can make a larger impact than one restaurant could afford on their own. E. Benefits
Food tourism has the power to generate cooperate marketing opportunities for local restaurants and build a branding for the restaurant regionally and countrywide. Name recognition often opens the doors. The restaurant may consider organizing cellar door sales or create their own line of customized products that can serve as another major source of revenue.
2.2 Food Tourism as Destination Marketing
Food is seldom take part of the key reason for visiting a destination and the most often is considered as part of the overall destination experience (Long, 2003). On the other hand, food is becoming one of the most significant attractions as tourists explore a new and authentic experiences and alternative forms of tourism (Selwood, 2003).
It is very inconsistency that crating the opportunity for food tourism to become an important and appealing attraction in a destination. The destination can improve the demand of its income and attractions by marketing them accurately. This would include product development, packaging, positioning and the promotion of the attraction.
Food tourism is regarded as one of the attractions existing in a destination and can consequently make up the part of the destination marketing strategy of a destination. From the previous perspectives, it is obviously that destination marketing and food tourism are linked. No destination can ignore the importance of food as either a key or more often a supportive attraction.
The role of food tourism to the sustainable competitiveness of a destination entails the identification, development and functioning of food tourism enhancers to achieve destination competitiveness. The concept of sustainable competitiveness adopted in this note is that of (Ritchie & Crouch, 2003) which entails the ability to increase tourism expenditure by attracting a larger number of tourists, providing them with satisfying, memorable experiences, profitably, while enhancing the well-being of destination residents and preserving the natural capital of the destination for future generations. Sustainable competitiveness of the destination is therefore of prime concern.
Food tourism is one of the contributions of a destination that can improve existing tourism products, as it fits to the definition of being a combination of individual products, services and experience opportunities. As an offering food tourism is a compilation of products and services of most of the attractions and resources as portrayed in the literature. Food tourism is a combination of natural features, culture, services, infrastructure, access, attitudes toward tourists and uniqueness. It can increase the total experience of the destination even further as it is the only product that can be experienced using all the human senses, therefore become deeper to the tourism experience even more. Food as a tourism product and experience can contribute to the competitiveness of the destination if suitably developed and executed.
2.2.2 Benefits and Impacts
Local and regional food as one of the important components of food tourism holds great potential to contribute to sustainable competitiveness in a destination, both from a tourism development and a destination marketing perspective. The promotion of local and regional food is an efficient way of supporting and corroboration the tourism and rural sectors of local economies by: preserving gastronomic heritage and adding value to the genuineness of the destination; enlargement and enhancing the local and regional tourism resource base; and motivating agricultural production.
The development of an outline and strategy for developing and implementing food tourism can allow destination marketers and forthcoming entrepreneurs to improve the tourism potential of local and regional food. The need of the framework is to allow the stakeholders to cooperate and accomplish the effective performance of marketing strategies regarding food tourism.
Many tourists are influenced by the value and category of accommodation and food on offer and although food does not usually form an attraction in its own right, it is an essential part of almost every vacation and can add to the overall attractiveness of the destination.
2.2.3 International Trends
Food tourism globally remains a form of niche or alternative tourism, based on agriculture, culture and the tourism infrastructure. It is generally linked to cultural or heritage tourism and although it forms an important component of tourism, is still in many countries very much a less promoted attraction. However, as previously mentioned, the attention food tourism is receiving is growing for various reasons such as changing consumer needs, environmental awareness and destination competitiveness and sustainability (Ritchie & Crouch, 2003).
The global and local initiatives provide sufficient reason to encourage Destination Management Organisations to develop similar and competitive food tourism products and activities in their own destinations.
2.2.4 The Key Tasks of Marketing Management
The execution of a series of key management and marketing tasks and constitutes the part where food tourism will be developed and implemented in the destination marketing and management strategy of a specific destination. * Prioritising Products and Markets
Information from the situational analysis and strategic evaluation is used to apply criteria for identifying, developing and implementing food tourism in a destination in terms of the key food tourism attractions to be focused on. * Positioning and Branding
This task entails the identification and implementation of the steps to take regarding the positioning and branding of food tourism in the destination. * Packaging and Routing
The options regarding packaging and routing for a destination are identified with the aim of enhancing the attractiveness and contributing to the competitiveness and sustainability of the destination.
2.2.5 The Utilisation of Food as a Tourism Attraction
Although food tourism was being developed and included as an attraction in various destinations, it still receives minimal attention in destination marketing. Focused strategies therefore need to be developed and implemented to address the underutilisation of food as a marketing tool in destination marketing.
2.2.6 The Need of Framework for Food Tourism
Besides the actions that can be taken to enhance food tourism in a destination, the study furthermore indicated the need for a framework to develop and implement food tourism in a destination. Such a framework can streamline the efforts and identify the correct procedures regarding the development of food tourism as an attraction in a destination. The establishment of the food tourism potential of a destination is crucial for further development and success regarding tourism in the destination.
2.2.7 Stakeholders Involvement
It is crucial that the stakeholders establish co-optician amongst themselves and promote local and regional food as an attraction in the various regions of the country. There is a need for stakeholder involvement with a specific focus on an untapped potential of food tourism. Stakeholders and DMOs need to be encouraged to participate in promoting food tourism and to on-sell food with wine which is a better-established tourism product and attraction in many regions.
2.3 The Impact of Food Tourism in Communities
Food and beverage tourism on a community level may enable the development of a “sense of place”, but also has the potential to generate economic benefits and support sustainable community and tourism development. In this perspective, food tourism festivals can be one alternative opportunity for tourism development in rural areas for farmers and communities by adding values to already existing place-based food products.
Rural communities are also using food festivals to promote local commodities and differentiate themselves from urban community festivals. From the development standpoint, small festivals in areas with few tourism attractions may be critical in retaining locals’ discretionary funds and generating civic pride. In recent years, special events or festivals have become one of the fastest growing types of tourism attractions. Tourism marketing professionals increasingly view festivals as an integral part of tourism development and marketing plans, and they are deliberately creating new festivals as tourist attractions.
Food tourism festivals can also be one alternative opportunity for tourism development in rural areas, adding values to already existing products. Development of food tourism can not only contribute to the growth of tourism at a destination, but also enhance the image of the destination when food is seen as a part of that image. If developed properly, food tourism can add to the range of tourism attractions and provide new attractions to the destination along with economic benefits.
2.3.1 The Economic Impact in Communities
The development of food tourism as a generator of income, and enhancement of community pride and identity has emerged as an objective of many destinations worldwide. Challenging economic times have compelled destinations to explore ways and means to increase visitation levels and generate revenues. Doing so has required them to look carefully at their policies and practices, and to focus on issues such as customer service. Accordingly, it is important to identify visitor characteristics, their motivations and satisfaction for promotion purposes.
Economic impact studies of tourism are needed to demonstrate the economic contribution to the community. Festivals should be organized as clearly they demonstrate a significant economic impact. In this context, partnerships and collaboration with other tourism and tourism-related businesses is critical to enhance larger and longer visitation in the region.
3. Economic Impacts of Food Tourism
Culinary tourism has an impact on social and cultural networks of a region or locale. Due to the social nature of culinary tourism, new relationships can be built and new support systems can be established.
Culinary tourism also celebrates what is local and what happens locally; much of which is community-driven and supported, reflecting the unique culture of an area. In other culinary tourism destinations around the world, community pride has been recognized as one of the most important social outcomes of product development, through the creation of new partnerships and innovative strategies. Introducing long-term culinary tourism strategies can add tremendous ability to ‘educate’ and build awareness for locals and tourists about the benefits of healthy eating though consumption of local, fresh, and seasonal produce, particular cooking methods and techniques, gardening and farming techniques, and moving away from processed or fast food. Because much of the produce and many of the products may be preserved or stored, local, visitors to the region can enjoy healthy food year-round.
The local initiative associated with culinary tourism also presents environmental value. Food need not travel as far from where it is grown or produced to where it is consumed, and as a result, less energy is consumed, fewer transport emissions are produced, and fewer chemicals are needed in preservation. While culinary tourism can have various environmental impacts related to land use, water systems, waste production, transportation, and energy consumption, the promotion of local and sustainable food systems can reduce environmental strain.
Culinary tourism is emerging as an important component of the rapidly growing cultural tourism market. Food tourism is regarded as one of the attractions offered in a destination and can therefore constitute part of the destination marketing strategy of a destination. From the preceding perspectives it is apparent that destination marketing and food tourism are linked. The contribution of food tourism to the sustainable competitiveness of a destination entails the identification, development and implementation of food tourism enhancers to achieve destination competitiveness. Local and regional food as one of the important components of food tourism holds great potential to contribute to sustainable competitiveness in a destination, both from a tourism development and a destination marketing perspective. Food tourism globally remains a form of niche or alternative tourism, based on agriculture, culture and the tourism infrastructure. Food tourism festivals can also be one alternative opportunity for tourism development in rural areas, adding values to already existing products. If developed properly, food tourism can add to the range of tourism attractions and provide new attractions to the destination along with economic benefits.
Frechtling, D.C & Horvath, E. (1999), Estimating the multiplier effects of tourism expenditures on a local economy through a Regional Input-Output model. Journal of Travel Research. 37: p324-332.
Long L. (2003), Culinary Tourism: Food, Eating and Otherness, University of Kentucky, Lexington.
Poon A. (1993), Tourism, Technology and Competitive Strategies, CAB International, Wallingford.
Ritchie J.R.B. and Crouch G.I. (2003), The Competitive Destination, A Sustainable Tourism Perspective, CABI, Wallingford.
Selwood J. (2003), The Lure of Food: Food As An Attraction in Destination Marketing in Manitoba, Canada, Butterworth Heinemann, Oxford.
References: Frechtling, D.C & Horvath, E. (1999), Estimating the multiplier effects of tourism expenditures on a local economy through a Regional Input-Output model. Journal of Travel Research. 37: p324-332. Long L. (2003), Culinary Tourism: Food, Eating and Otherness, University of Kentucky, Lexington. Poon A. (1993), Tourism, Technology and Competitive Strategies, CAB International, Wallingford. Ritchie J.R.B. and Crouch G.I. (2003), The Competitive Destination, A Sustainable Tourism Perspective, CABI, Wallingford. Selwood J. (2003), The Lure of Food: Food As An Attraction in Destination Marketing in Manitoba, Canada, Butterworth Heinemann, Oxford.