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Tourism and Gastronomy

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Abstract

In recent years, a growing emphasis has been placed on tourism experiences and attractions related to food. In many cases eating out while on holiday includes the ‘consumption’ of a local heritage, comparable to what is experienced when visiting historical sites and museums. Despite this increasing attention, however, systematic research on the subject has been nearly absent. Tourism and Gastronomy addresses this by drawing together a group of international experts in order to develop a better understanding of the role, development and future of gastronomy and culinary heritage in tourism. Particular attention is paid to the relationship between the forces of globalisation, localisation and the use of gastronomy and to food as a source of regional and national identity, and a source of economic development. The first part of the book discusses important issues in the relationship between tourism and gastronomy, introducing the themes important to the understanding of case studies. The second part presents a wide range of case studies of gastronomy tourism development, featuring development programmes, marketing activities and networking between tourism and agriculture. The case studies, drawn from a range of countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy, Scotland and Wales, are used to explore further themes, including intellectual property and sustainability Students and researchers in the areas of tourism, heritage, hospitality, hotel management and catering will find this book an extremely valuable source of information.
Tourism and Gastronomy
Edited by Anne-Mette Hjalager and Greg Richards
Published by Routledge, London, May 2002
ISBN-13: 978-0415510998
ISBN-10: 0415510996
Contents
Part 1: The relationship between tourism and gastronomy
Chapter 1: Gastronomy: an essential ingredient in tourism production and
consumption?
GREG RICHARDS
Chapter 2: A typology of gastronomy tourism
ANNE-METTE HJALAGER
Chapter 3: Demand for the gastronomy tourism product: motivational factors
KEVIN FIELDS
Chapter 4: Gastronomy as a tourist product: the perspective of gastronomy studies
ROSARIO SCARPATO
Chapter 5: Tourism as a force for gastronomic globalization and localization
MICHAEL HALL AND RICHARD MITCHELL
Part 2: Issues in Gastronomic Tourism Development
Chapter 6: Gastronomic tourism, food production and rural development
STEVEN BOYNE, FIONA WILLIAMS AND DEREK HALL
Chapter 7: ‘A Taste of Wales-Blas Ar Gymru’: Institutional malaise in
promoting Welsh food tourism products
ANDREW JONES AND IAN JENKINS
Chapter 8: Sustainable gastronomy as a tourist product
ROSARIO SCARPATO
Chapter 9: Gastronomy and intellectual property
NEIL RAVENSCROFT AND JETSKE VAN WESTERING
Chapter 10: The route to quality: Italian gastronomy networks in operation
MAGDA ANTONIOLI CORIGLIANO
Chapter 11: The changing nature of the relationship between cuisine and
tourism in Australia and New Zealand: from fusion cuisine to food networks
MICHAEL HALL AND RICHARD MITCHELL
Chapter 12: Regional food cultures: integral to the rural tourism product?
SEAN BEER, JONATHAN EDWARDS, CARLOS FERNANDES AND
FRANCISCO SAMPAIO
Chapter 13: Still undigested: research issues in tourism and gastronomy
ANNE-METTE HJALAGER AND GREG RICHARDS
Chapter 1: Gastronomy: an essential ingredient in tourism production
and consumption?
Greg Richards
Introduction
As competition between tourism destinations increases, local culture is
becoming an increasingly important source of new products and activities to
attract and amuse tourists. Gastronomy has a particularly important role to
play in this, not only because food is central to the tourist experience, but also
because gastronomy has become an important source of identity formation in
postmodern societies. More and more, ‘we are what we eat’, not just in the
physical sense, but also because we identify with certain types of cuisine that
we encounter on holiday.
As tourists become more mobile, so does the food they eat. The comfortable
association of certain foods with certain regions is being challenged by the
growing mobility of food, culinary styles and the increasing de-differentiation
of dishes and cuisines. Far from producing an homogenized gastronomic
landscape, the tension between globalization and localization is producing
ever more variations. Not only are global foods emerging, such as Coca Cola
and McDonald’s, but local and regional food is thriving, and new ‘fusion foods’
are also being created to feed the ‘global soul’ (Iyer 2000). Tourists
themselves are contributing to gastronomic mobility, by creating a demand for
foods they have encountered abroad in their own countries.
Gastronomy has developed considerably through the ages, and there are
numerous studies that chart the development of gastronomic styles and tastes
over time. For example Mennell (1985) traces the development of eating in
England and France since the Middle Ages and Parsa (1998) has
summarized the development of western cuisine in America. In Chapter 4 of
this volume Rosario Scarpato examines the development of the concept of
gastronomy in some detail. Gastronomy is not only extremely difficult to
define, but the term, just like ‘culture’ has become more heavily laden over
time.
As Scarpato shows, the original definition of gastronomy has broadened in
recent years. The Encyclopedia Britannica (2000) defines gastronomy as: ‘the
art of selecting, preparing, serving, and enjoying fine food’. Originally
gastronomy was for the nobility, but over time the concept has also come to
include the ‘peasant food’ typical of regional and local cuisine. As well as
including a wider range of foods, the growth of cultural practices related to
food has meant that the concept of gastronomy has begun to encompass
cultural practices as well, so that Scaparto argues that we can now talk about
‘gastronomic culture’. More recently, the serving and consumption of food has
become a global industry, of which tourism is an important part. In common
with other services and ‘experiences’ offered to (post)modern consumers, a
distinct system of production, distribution and presentation has emerged that
can be characterized as one of the ‘cultural industries’. In the cultural industry
of gastronomy the value chain is being extended to include a wide range of
economic activities, many of which are related to tourism (Hjalager Chapter
2).
In this volume the development of gastronomy as a socio-cultural practice and
important cultural industry is examined from the perspective of tourism. The
various ways in which gastronomic experiences are created, developed and
marketed to tourists and the importance of gastronomic experiences for
tourists are analysed in a variety of different settings. In this introductory
chapter we introduce some of the main points of discussion surrounding the
relationship between gastronomy and tourism which are tackled in more depth
in the subsequent chapters.
A question of identity: we are what we eat?
As Giddens (1990) and Bauman (1997) argue, the modern condition is
characterized by an increasing level of social and personal insecurity. With
the disintegration of established structures of meaning, people are searching
for new sources of identity that provide some security in an increasingly
turbulent world. As Hewison (1987) and other commentators have observed,
heritage and nostalgia have provided a rich source of signs of identity,
particularly in tourism. Food has also become an important factor in the
search for identity. Food is one of our basic needs, so it is not surprising that it
is also one of the most widespread markers of identity. We are what we eat,
not just in a physiological sense, but also in a psychological and a sociological
sense as well. The ‘comfort foods’ of childhood become the refuge of the adult
cocooner. Any attempt to change our eating habits is seen as an attack on our
national, regional or personal identity.
There is of course a close link between food and the body. As Bell and
Valentine (1997) show, eating is not only a means of sustaining the body, but
becomes an essential part of the politics of the body. As people in developed
countries increasingly gain weight, the ‘ideal’ body shape is getting thinner,
exerting pressure on people to lose weight. This pressure is particularly strong
for women, exposed to the gaze of their partners and friends, and continually
measured against the ideal woman as portrayed in the media. The surveillant
gaze may become even more crucial on holiday, as bare flesh is exposed to
the view of strangers on the beach. As Valentine (1999) argues, we are
caught between such discourses of self control in relation to food, and the
pleasurable, hedonistic and social aspects of eating, which are also related to
identity, bodily pleasures and sexual desire.
Food is also one of the important aspects of the ‘environmental bubble’ that
surrounds most tourists on their travels. Many tourists eat the same food on
holiday as they would do at home. Mass tourist resorts can often be divided
spatially on the basis of cuisine English tourists in English pubs, German
tourists in the Bierkeller. Some tourists still engage in the habit of taking their
own food with them on holiday. Dutch tourists are still renowned for this, even
to the extent of taking their own potatoes with them when they go camping in
Southern Europe.
Food has been used as a means of forging and supporting identities,
principally because what we eat and the way we eat are such basic aspects of
our culture. As Leigh points out, eating habits are parochial behaviours that
are learned and culturally bound:
Some Catholics still avoid meat on Friday, as an act of contrition, and so often eat
fish on this day. Japanese love raw fish. Chinese eat dogs and monkeys. Moslems
and Jews do not eat pork. Hindus do not eat beef. French eat frogs, snails, horses
and raw meat. Arabs eat camel meat and drink camel milk. Aborigines eat earth
grubs. Greeks drink sheep’s milk. Some African tribes drink blood. Yanamamo
Indians of South America eat fresh uncooked lice and fried insects.
(Leigh 2000: 10)
Such differences are the source of much of the diversity upon which tourism
thrives.
The growth of the nation state has also been paralleled by the development of
different national cuisines. Their influence has to some extent reflected the
power of national cultures, as exemplified in the extension of French Haute
Cuisine through the elite of Europe, or the relative obscurity of Portuguese
gastronomy. Food is a support for images that bind nations, and they may
also be the source of negative ‘they-images’ and stereotypes, such as ‘Frogs’,
‘Limeys’ or ‘Krauts’ (ERICarts 2000).
Given the strong relationship between food and identity, it is not surprising
that food becomes an important place marker in tourism promotion. One of
the basic reasons for this is the strong relationship between certain localities
and certain types of food. As Hughes (1995:114) points out there is a ‘notion
of a natural relationship between a region’s land, its climatic conditions and
the character of food it produces. It is this geographical diversity which
provides for the regional distinctiveness in culinary traditions and the evolution
of a characteristic heritage’. This link between location and gastronomy has
been used in a number of ways in tourism, including promotional efforts based
on distinctive or ‘typical’ regional or national foods (see the case studies in
Part 2 of this volume). Food can also be used as a means for guiding tourists
around regions or countries.
In his classification of cultural attractions, Munsters (1994) identifies regional
gastronomic routes as a specific cultural tourism product. The routes he
identifies in the Benelux include an asparagus route, a mussel route, a hops
route and a gin route. Many of these routes are seasonal, reflecting the link
between agricultural cycles and local food production. The season for most of
these products also coincides with the main tourist season. The idea behind
such routes is that specific products can be linked to particular locations
and/or seasons the ‘natural’ order of things referred to by Hughes.
Globalization and Localization: We are where we eat
The close association of gastronomy and local, regional and national identities
is apparently threatened by the process of globalization. As foods such as
‘French fries’ become available everywhere and previously seasonal foods
are sold all year round there is an apparent disassociation of food and place.
In a rapidly changing gastronomic landscape, the forces of globalization and
localization are both exerting pressures on our eating habits. The rise of fast
food has come to characterize the globalization of culture and economy
encapsulated in the term ‘McDonaldization’ (Ritzer 1993). McDonald’s
franchises more than 25,000 outlets in 120 countries worldwide. The Big Mac
has become such a standard culinary product that it is used to measure the
purchasing power parity of national currencies (Ong 1997). While some
tourists have welcomed the homogenization of the gastronomic landscape as
a means of eating cheaply, predictably and safely across the world, others
have attacked the standardization and homogenization of fast food as
unhealthy and unnatural and for depriving locals and tourists of a sense of
place.
Of course, the extension of global foods has its advantages, not least for
tourism:
..homesick American tourists in far-off countries can take comfort in the
knowledge that they will likely run into those familiar golden arches and the
restaurant they have become so familiar with.
(Ritzer 1993:81)
Not only do tourists seek the ‘comforts’ of home in their travels, but the
tourism industry has been only too glad to provide McDonaldized products of
its own to meet those needs. For Ritzer, the package holiday itself is a classic
example of McDonaldization. Even if some authors have heralded the
unpackaging of the package holiday, travel is still highly McDonaldized. Ritzer
and Liska (1997) argue that package holidays can become more flexible
precisely because the rest of the world has become more McDonaldized. If
there is a McDonalds in every tourism destination, tourists no longer have to
worry about their food, and won’t need it included in the package.
This development challenges the common hypothesis that tourism behaviour
is a ‘compensation’ for activities or experiences that are missing in our
everyday lives. In fact, Ritzer and Liska argue, much tourism is an extension
of our everyday lives. A similar conclusion has recently been reached in an
analysis of cultural tourism behaviour (Thrane, 2000). Those people with a
high degree of cultural capital will also be likely to undertake cultural activities
in their leisure time and in their holiday time, rather than looking for different
tourism experiences. Not only is tourism is increasingly like the rest of our
lives, but our everyday lives are increasingly like tourism. The cultural capital
that we develop on holiday regarding foreign food is utilized in our leisure time
to distinguish ourselves from others and to develop our identity.
The fact that many people seek the comfort of the familiar on holiday is one
factor that helps to support the spread of global foods. Tourism is one of the
forces of globalization in what Castells (1996) terms the ‘space of flows’ or the
global network economy. Increasing integration of the global economy favours
increasing economies of scale and scope in food production and distribution
just as in tourism. The result is a growing standardization of food in the
‘homogeneous spaces’ of tourism worldwide (Edensor 1998).
At the same time, however, there is a countervailing force towards more
localization in what Castells call the ‘space of places’ – the local environments
in which the bulk of the world’s population live their everyday lives. It is being
realised that there are real limits to the homogenization of globalization,
precisely because global flows of capital, people and culture interact with the
specific features of the locality to produce new, locally-specific mixtures of the
local and the global. A resurgence of the local is also being stimulated by
growing resistance to what many perceive to be the homogenizing forces of
globalization, Disneyfication and McDonaldization.
We are already seeing specific reactions to McDonaldization in the growth of
the Slow Food Movement, which is particularly strong in Italy (see Scarpato
Chapter 8 this volume). The Slow Food Movement sees food not just as a
question of nutrition, but as part of a broader lifestyle statement. To this end,
the ‘slow cities manifesto’ has been created. Slow cities are dedicated to
slowing down life in general to improve the quality of life for their citizens.
Slow food and slow cities also offer tourists the chance to sample ‘real’ local
food instead of globalized versions of it.
The relationship between globalization and localization is not a diametric
opposition, but a dialectic one (Green 2001). Exchanges and cross-
fertilization between the global and the local to produce new foods and eating
practices have been going on for centuries. The introduction of the potato to
Ireland from the New World in the seventeenth century produced a new
national food, overdependence on which among the peasantry laid the
foundation for widespread famine in the nineteenth century. The Dutch
rijsttafel, is ‘an elaborate meal of Indonesian dishes developed during the
Dutch colonial era’. But ‘because of its political overtones, the rijsttafel is
seldom served today in Indonesia, but it is popular in The Netherlands and at
both Dutch and Indonesian restaurants abroad’ (Encyclopedia Britannica
2000). This type of ‘creolization’ has become common in the cuisines of
former colonizing countries, as the prevalence of Indian food in the UK and
Cous Cous in France attest. Globalization has also ensured that many
creolized foods have become international, and are being developed as new
products on a global scale. Ruis (1998) for example has charted the
development of the Irish pub in the Netherlands and other countries. Seen as
a typical marker of Ireland, the Irish pub has now been globalized as a
standard product by Guinness, who see the pubs as a vehicle for selling their
products worldwide. Pub owners receive advice on how to make their pubs
‘typically Irish’, including the intimate layout of the bar, hiring Irish staff,
choosing appropriate music and serving ‘traditional’ Irish food.
As well as the global becoming localized, the local is also becoming
globalized. Many commentators decry the apparent standardization of culture,
cuisine and eating that the globalization of the Irish pub represents. However,
there are abundant signs that such cultural pessimism is overly dramatic.
Although cultural signs can easily be reproduced, standardized and
globalized, the way in which people use those signs is often specific to their
own culture. Irish pubs may exist in many different countries, but an Irish pub
in Dublin is culturally a very different experience from an Irish pub in
Valladolid (Spain) where the standard ‘Europop’ music played during the
evening is replaced late at night by Spanish dance music and local youth
culture takes over (Richards 1999a). The product may be global, the staff
may be able to speak English, the beer may be served in pints, but the
experience is local.
Global cultural reproduction is not just affecting the way in which we consume
food, but it is also having a profound effect on our experience of tourism.
Holidays used to be a break from everyday life. The beach, for example,
created a liminal space in which the rules of everyday life disappeared, or at
least could be bent (Shields 1991). As tourism experiences have become
democratized and more widespread, Urry (1990) has pointed to the
emergence of a ‘tourist culture’. One of the important features of the tourist
culture is the creation of specialized settings in which tourist consumption
occurs the homogenized spaces of the tourist industry (Edensor 1998).
These spaces used to be restricted to tourist destinations, but the de-
differentiation of work, leisure and holidays is ensuring that these ‘holiday’
environments are becoming a part of our everyday lives. We can visit a
Spanish restaurant to re-live the culinary experiences of a holiday in Spain.
We can visit a ‘beach bar’ to relive the joys of a Mediterranean holiday in the
depths of winter. Apré-ski bars allow us to sample the delights of Gluwein and
fondue all year round. This hedonistic proliferation of ‘tourist’ spaces might be
termed ‘Californication’, in homage to the de-differentiated tourism-work-
leisure lifestyle typified by Baywatch and other American soap operas.
These trends even leave their mark on the urban fabric. As cities transform
themselves into leisure stages through ‘festivalization’, the architecture of
holiday destinations is recreated too. At a basic level there is an extension of
cafe terraces and al fresco dining, even in winter. Food, which has so long
been confined indoors in Northern Europe, reclaims the streets. These
processes are so tied up with the consumption of food that Zukin (1995)
referred to the gentrification process in New York as ‘pacification by
cappuccino’.
A Matter of Taste
The importance of food and eating in all cultures is emphasized by the
importance of ‘taste’. Having good taste is a matter of being educated or
cultivating the ‘right’ habits in eating, drinking, table manners and other areas
of life.
Food has a central role in discussions of taste because of its communal
character. Mealtimes are often the central focus of social occasions and
family gatherings. Our choice of food, the way we present it, the way we serve
it and the way we eat it speak volumes about who we are and our position
within the group.
The study of difference is essential to our understanding of society. In the
past, class was seen by many as the essential division. As the traditional
signifiers of class have begun to blur, attention has turned to way in which
differences are signified through consumption. In particular the work of
Bourdieu (1984) on the sociology of taste has been crucial in shaping this
area of research.
In his classic work Distinction, Bourdieu examines the role of taste in forming
and maintaining and legitimating class differences. Not surprisingly one of the
main arenas in which these distinctions are developed and underlined is in
eating. Bourdieu shows us that the physical necessity of eating is also a
cultural practice:
……cultural practices also appear in eating habits. The antithesis between quantity
and quality, substance and form, corresponds to the opposition linked to different
distances from necessity- between the taste of necessity, which favours the most
filling and most economical foods, and the taste of liberty or luxury which
shifts the emphasis to the manner (of presenting, serving, eating etc.) and to
stylized forms to deny function.
(Bourdieu 1984:
6)
The culinary triumph of form over function is more than gastronomic. Food
and eating form part of a symbolic universe in which the working class ‘ethic
of convivial indulgence’ is counterposed with the bourgeois ‘ethic of reticence
and restraint’ aimed at producing a socially acceptable body form as well as
acceptable table manners.
the taste of the professionals or senior executives defines the popular taste, by
negation, as a taste for the heavy, the fat and the coarse, by tending towards the
light, the refined and the delicate.
(Bourdieu
1984:185)
These divisions are also engrained in the way in which we consume food and
drink. Bourdieu contrasts local cafes frequented by workers with the
restaurants catering to the bourgeoisie. Of course, these differences in eating
habits are merely expressions of complete lifestyles. In the past, the
preference of the middle classes for foods requiring elaborate preparation was
supported by the division of labour, with the ‘time reservoir’ provided by the
wife in bourgeois households allowing complex dishes to be prepared.
The division between elite and mass consumption is continued in modern
tourism through the distinction between mass tourism (a democratized,
popular form of travel) and independent travel (a personalized, reflective
mode of travel) (Munt 1994).
Of course, the basis of distinction can shift over time. In the past, the
restaurant as described by Bourdieu was a middle class preserve, in which
class distinctions were maintained through table manners or the requirement
to dress appropriately. As ‘eating out’ has become popularized, so distinctions
between class factions have had to be underlined in ways other than simply
visiting restaurants. Today it is essential to visit the ‘right’ restaurant – the hip,
happening place. To be caught in a restaurant that has fallen out of favour
with one’s peers can be social death. Even if one manages to choose the right
venue, it is important to have sufficient cultural capital to order the ‘right’
dishes, and in the case of foreign food to be able to pronounce their names
properly.
In the struggle to maintain distinctions, foods, just like restaurants, may go
through cycles of elevation and popularization as the masses attempt to
emulate the consumption patterns of higher classes, who in turn seek to
maintain their distinctiveness by finding new areas of culinary exclusivity. This
cycle has been illustrated in the case of cider by Augustyn (2000). She shows
that cider was in the seventeenth century considered to be on a par with
modern champagne. Payment of farm labourers in kind with cider led to the
image of the drink being downgraded in the eighteenth century, and cider was
further eclipsed by the rise of beer in the nineteenth century. In recent years
cider has been positioned as a traditional niche product in an attempt to
distinguish it from beer and add value to the product. In so doing, the drink is
again becoming popular with the middle classes. The tendency for ‘forgotten’
traditional foods to be rediscovered and turned into gastronomic products has
accelerated in recent years, as the rise of polenta and pa amb tomate
illustrate.
Our desire for distinction becomes conflated with the modern appetite for
novelty in a ceaseless wave of ‘food fads’:
We don’t eat from dishes any more, but from fashion plates, subject to the whims
and fancies of designer chefs forever looking for new ways to catch media
attention with their artistic urges. Heaven forbid you may want to eat the same
thing twice.
(Durack 2000: 45)
The development of food as fashion has been supported in recent years by
the rise of the culinary media. In the search for new recipes and stories, food
critics and media chefs have increasingly begun to scour the world for ‘new’
styles of cooking, new ingredients and new backdrops. Food and travel have
become inseparable in the travels of TV personalities such as Keith Floyd,
Ken Hom and Antonio Carluccio. The relationship between their cooking and
the destination is synergetic the destination provides the recipes, the
cultural context and the scenic backdrop, the television chef promotes the
destination that is encapsulated by its cuisine. These effects are discussed in
more detail by Hall and Mitchell in Chapter 5 and Scarpato in Chapter 8.
Food becomes the ideal sign of tourism consumption. Eating is an obligatory
part of the holiday experience, and therefore lends itself as a tool of distinction
for everybody. We can show off our cultural capital relating to the destination
by eating ‘authentic’ food in the destination. The traveller can escape from the
mass tourist hordes by finding that ‘hidden’ local restaurant where only ‘locals’
go.
Creating Experiences
Food structures the tourist day. A large proportion of most tourist experiences
are spent either consuming food and drink, or deciding what and where to
consume. However, many of these experiences are taken for granted,
because we often regard eating as a necessity rather than a leisure activity.
One of the essential tasks in developing and marketing gastronomic tourism,
therefore, is to find ways to add value to the eating experience in order to
make it memorable.
Tourism is one of the quintessential experience industries that Pine and
Gilmore (1999) argue will come to dominate the economy in future. As the
basis of the economy shifts from delivering services to staging experiences,
the quality of the basic elements of the product will increasingly be taken for
granted by consumers, who will demand engaging absorbing experiences as
part of the tourism and gastronomy product.
The development of gastronomic experiences is evident in the appearance of
restaurants that offer a total package of food, entertainment and atmosphere.
The Rainforest Cafe, for example, claims
Rainforest Cafe® is A Wild Place to Shop and Eat®! Our unique restaurant and
retail concept is an adventure through the most realistic indoor rain forest ever
created! Discover amazingly lush surroundings, cascading waterfalls, live birds,
and beautiful giant aquariums. Savor our fresh, original menu selections,
influenced by the cuisines of Mexico, Asia and the Caribbean. Your Adventure is
About to Begin!
(Rainforest Cafe 2000)
The adventure is spiced up by a thunderstorm every 15 minutes, rainforest
educational tours and of course countless merchandising opportunities for
those essential souvenirs of your visit. Even in less aggressively themed
surroundings, the preparation and serving of food is being turned into an
experience. Kitchens are being opened up to the gaze of the visitor, and
waiting staff may be expected to sing or offer other forms of entertainment
when serving.
As Kevin Fields shows in Chapter 3, creating saleable experiences also
becomes part of the art of developing tourist destinations. As global
competition between tourist destinations increases, so the search for
distinctive products becomes more intense. Gastronomy is seen as an
important source of marketable images and experiences for the tourists. As
Antonioli Corigliano argues in Chapter 10, experiences can be developed
through linking resources in a single region or in different regions through
gastronomic routes or paths. The tourist can experience a range of
gastronomic products linked to the cultural and agricultural resources of a
specific region, or compare the way in which culture interfaces with similar
gastronomic products in different regions. Creating such experiences not only
necessitates linking different locations but also linking different producers in
the value chain.
Gastronomic experiences for tourists are usually developed from the
perspective of ‘unique’ aspects of the gastronomy that can only be found in
that particular location. As more destinations develop gastronomic
experiences for visitors, however, so the issue of intellectual property
becomes more acute. Ravenscroft and van Westerling (Chapter 9) point out
that countries or regions will need to protect the intellectual property bound up
in their gastronomic culture in order to maintain the distinctiveness of their
products. They show how Spain has reinvented itself as a destination partly
through employing gastronomic products such as paella and Rioja. However
as the gastronomic products of Spain and other countries become more
widespread, there will be a growing need to identify the essence of these
products and protect them from reproduction elsewhere.
Selling the destination
If gastronomy can be linked to specific countries or regions, it becomes a
powerful tourism marketing tool. Authenticity has always been viewed as an
important aspect of tourism consumption, and seeking out ‘authentic’ local
and regional foods can become a motive for visiting a particular destination.
Many countries and regions around the world have begun to realise this, and
are using gastronomy to market themselves, as many of the chapters in this
volume show.
For example Boyne et al. (Chapter 6) and Jones and Jenkins (Chapter 7)
show how food has been used as a vehicle to reposition Scotland and Wales
respectively. Both have developed similar marketing programmes: ‘A Taste of
Scotland’ and ‘A Taste of Wales’. The Taste of Scotland initiative created a
marketing scheme in which participating establishments would agree to
provide dishes which were either ‘traditional or using recognizably Scottish
produce, to provide the visitor with a meal of Scottish food’ (Hughes
1995:114). Hughes argues that the Taste of Scotland scheme constructed a
food heritage for Scotland which could then be used as a marketing tool.
Similar schemes are evident in other areas as well. In the Alto Minho region of
Portugal, for example, a recipe book was produced by the regional tourist
board to give visitors the opportunity to ‘carry away with (them) an enduring
memory of the tasting, the pleasures of the dining, in these lands of the
Minho’ (Sampaio 1985:cover text).
Much of the marketing effort directed at developing rural gastronomy is aimed
at establishing and increasing the ‘authenticity’ of the local cuisine. An
important aspect of developing authentic local products is an appeal to
nostalgia and the virtues of a traditional, simpler and more wholesome rural
past. As Sampaio argues in the case of the Alto Minho:
because of the constraints of modern life and technological progress our
grandparents’ recipes are often put away in the drawer, forgotten, to be replaced by
other more practical (?) and more modern (?) menus….. in this way damaging and
even sacrificing, an expression of our ancestral heritage, truly representative of our
heritage.
(Sampaio 1985: 4)
Edwards et al. (2000:294) have also argued that gastronomy is an important
element of the brand image of the Alto Minho, which ‘contains an agriculturally
based society set in a particular landscape, with particular ways of social
behaviour and with a distinctive gastronomy’. These relationships are
explored further in Chapter 12 of this volume.
With such resources, Portugal is in a position to use its extensive role in
European gastronomic tradition to develop attractive gastronomic products for
tourists. Not only can these products be positioned as uniquely ‘Portuguese’,
but the role of Portugal as a trading nation means that the Portuguese have
had a role in developing the gastronomy of the countries from which many of
their tourists come.
In contrast to the appeal to tradition and pre-modern forms of gastronomy
found in rural areas, the urban marketing of gastronomy is often based on
positioning cuisine at the cutting edge of fashion and (post)modern life.
Gastronomy has for example been one of the reasons for the rise of Catalonia
as a fashionable region in Europe (Richards 2000). The cuisine of Catalonia
not only matches the current taste of many consumers for simple, wholesome
food, but is also associated with a dynamic region full of modernist
architecture, modern art and contemporary fashion.
Marketing destinations through gastronomy also brings a range of benefits
through complimentary activities and linkages, such as stimulating local
agriculture, food processing and retailing, raising food quality and
strengthening local image and identity.
Tourism and Food Production
Tourism is intimately linked to local food production. Tourists, just like local
people, need to eat. If their demands can be met from local resources this can
provide an important boost to the local economy. If not, tourism can add to the
demand for imported foods, harming local agriculture, increasing imports and
reducing the economic benefit of tourism. Strong linkages between tourism
and local food production can as Hjalager shows (Chapter 2) create
considerable added value, but poor linkages can be fatal.
Because local food production depends on agriculture, hunting and fishing,
the appropriate development of linkages with tourism can aid the stimulation
of indigenous entrepreneurial activity and stimulate the ‘bottom-up’
development of community-based tourism initiatives. As Telfer (2000) has
shown in the case of Indonesia, tourism not only provides a market for the
final products of agriculture, but also offers the potential of further income
generation through developing experiences for tourists in the form of
agritourism.
In some cases, however, the preference of tourists for familiar foods can be a
major drain on the economy. This is a particular problem for areas with a
limited capacity for agricultural production, such as many small island
destinations. Where local agricultural production is better developed, tourism
can be an important market. As Michael Hall and Richard Mitchell
demonstrate in Chapter 11, innovation has been vital in developing the
gastronomic products of Australia and New Zealand, and has had
considerable spin-off effects for agricultural production and food exports.
Maximizing these benefits has been dependent on the creation of effective
networks incorporating both vertical and horizontal integration.
Another important aspect of food production in the modern ‘risk society’ (Beck
1992) is the extent to which our food is safe to eat. In the 1970s food safety
fears in the developed world often related to unprocessed foods, such as
unpasteurized milk, which almost disappeared as a result. The development
of modern factory farming methods and food processing has now created a
situation in which the risks associated with mass-produced processed food
have actually increased, and the demand for safer foods, such as biological
or unprocessed foods have grown as a result. This is in turn likely to increase
the demand for gastronomic tourism in regions which can show that their food
products are ‘safe’ and/or rely on traditional production methods. This may
become increasingly important in peripheral areas where farmers apparently
at a disadvantage through lack of mechanization and modernization may
actually be able to turn their ‘old-fashioned’ production methods into an
advantage. The increasing awareness of food risks will also strengthen calls
for labeling and quality schemes that guarantee the origin and production
methods of foods, which is already an important element of marketing
strategies in many of the regions analysed in this volume.
Take Away Food
Not only is consumption of food and drink important at the destination, but
much food and drink can also be taken home as a souvenir. Drink is
particularly important in this respect, although the recent abolition of duty free
sales in the European Union may have curtailed this habit for some.
There is considerable potential for tourism regions to develop this
gastronomic souvenir market, particularly where distinctive food and drink
products are available. For example, research conducted by the EUROTEX
crafts tourism project in Greece, Finland and Portugal (Richards 1999b)
indicated that 84 per cent of tourists in rural regions purchasing souvenirs had
bought food or drink to take home. Food products are particularly important as
souvenirs because they are relatively cheap and easy to carry. Not
surprisingly, food and drink souvenirs tended to have a very high use value,
with 45 per cent of purchasers indicating that their souvenir was ‘useful’.
Food and drink were particularly likely to be bought by those aged over 30
and under 60, and those with higher educational attainment and higher status
occupations or crafts workers. There was also a strong relationship between
having a cultural occupation and food purchases. In terms of income,
however, it tended to be those on median incomes who were most likely to
buy.
As far as motivations were concerned, those interested in cultural traditions
and hospitality were particularly likely to buy food. Authenticity was also
confirmed as being fairly important in the decision to buy gastronomic
products. Over 75 per cent of respondents buying food and drinking said that
the authenticity of the products was ‘important’ or ‘very important’ in their
decision to buy. As suggested by May (1996), however, the importance of
authenticity is not confined to independent, ‘postmodern’ tourists. 95 per cent
of those on package holidays bought food and drink, and 68 per cent of these
indicated that the authenticity of these products was important to them.
The relationship between specific regions and the souvenirs purchased was
also important. In Crete, for example, many of the food purchases related to
Cretan olive oil. This strong relationship between tourism and olive oil
production has since been exploited through the establishment of a specific
olive oil marketing project, aimed both at tourists visiting the region and those
purchasing olive oil once they returned home. It is hoped that the experience
of tasting Cretan olive oil on holiday would help to strengthen the image of the
Cretan product relative to its competitors from other parts of Greece and other
Mediterranean countries.
Gastronomic products are therefore confirmed as important souvenirs that
appeal to a wide range of tourists. Part of the appeal of buying food and drink
on holiday is arguably the ability to share these with friends and relatives on
your return. Almost half of the food souvenir purchasers in the EUROTEX
study indicated that having a memento for friends and relatives was important
in their decision to buy. Food products can also be used to display the cultural
capital gained on holiday, by cooking for and entertaining friends on our return
from holiday. Local dishes can be prepared using authentic ingredients,
accompanied by local wines and perhaps even served on local ceramics
purchased on the holiday.
In the Portuguese case, however, other research evidence indicates that
gastronomy is not currently developed as a strong element of the tourism
product. In her study of rural tourism in Northern and Central Portugal,
Kastenholz (2000) found that gastronomy was ranked as the fifth most
important motivational factor for tourists visiting the region, and in terms of
satisfaction it was only rated eighth. The relatively poor satisfaction level is of
concern because word of mouth is one of the most important ways in which
tourists gain information about potential destinations.
As part of the experiential baggage that tourists take home, gastronomy can
also play a role in making their consumption skills and cultural capital visible
to others. As Schor (1998) points out, the status role of leisure consumption is
often undermined by our inability to show others what we have consumed.
Because tourism experiences are unique and intangible, we have to find ways
of capturing, preserving and displaying them to our peers if we are to
capitalize on their value as status symbols. Suntans, photographs, holiday
slides and videos all serve to display our consumption. If we want to
emphasize the cultural capital we have gained, however, our knowledge of
foreign foods and eating habits is a useful means of distinction. Unless our
friends have also been to the same destination they will probably not
recognize the food products we have brought back, they may have trouble
using the chopsticks that we have mastered during our Far Eastern tour, they
may be unwary of the firey wasabi lurking in the dainty Japanese dish on the
table and they may not know that Japanese custom dictates that you do not
fill your own saki cup.
Signs of consuming food become just as important status symbols as the food
itself. The Hardrock Cafe, for example, makes a great deal of its turnover from
the sale of T-shirts and other souvenir items. The sales outlets are placed
outside the restaurant so that you don’t even need to eat there to collect these
signs. Because the Hardrock is a globalized product, collecting T-shirts with
different Hardrock locations becomes a way of emphasizing the breadth of
your travel experience rather than the narrow focus of your culinary taste.
Conclusion
Gastronomy has considerable potential as a means of developing and
marketing tourism regions worldwide. While the tourist may be an eager
consumer of gastronomic products, however, the analyses presented here
also indicate the many tensions surrounding the production, reproduction and
consumption of gastronomic culture. As with many aspects of the tangible
heritage, some people feel they must ‘save’ the gastronomic heritage before it
is washed away by the tide of globalization or McDonaldization. The Slow
Food Movement is a prime example of how gastronomic culture is becoming
emblematic of a whole way of life that many consider to be worth saving. The
homogenization produced by McDonald’s is also an easy target, as the
popularity of the Slow Food Movement shows. But McDonalds is also about
rationalization, and as Ritzer (1993) has pointed out, rationalization has many
benefits that people want, as well as the irrationalities they don’t want. Modern
omnivourous tourists may well want to sample local gastronomy, but they are
not averse to eating at McDonalds as well.
Gastronomic heritage is also not the same as the tangible heritage of sites
and monuments. Gastronomy evolves and develops precisely because the
living culture around it changes. It is therefore important to realize that
sustainable development of gastronomic tourism is not just about preserving
the past, but also about creating the future. To fossilize culinary products is to
make them as distant and inaccessible to the modern consumer as blackbird
pie or roast swan. The strength of gastronomy as a cultural resource is
precisely its propensity to change, whether through creolization, globalization
or localization.
Gastronomy is also a fertile breeding ground for creative tourism (Richards
and Raymond 2000). Tourists are increasingly willing to learn and eager to
increase their cultural capital by creating rather than just consuming.
Gastronomic holidays are therefore an important aspect of the emerging
creative tourism sector, as tourists can learn to cook, can learn about the
ingredients used, the way in which they are grown and appreciate how
culinary traditions have come into existence.
In developing gastronomic experiences for tourists in an increasingly
competitive tourism market, it is important not just to base the product on the
culture and traditions of the destination, but to provide a link to the culture of
the tourist. This means not just their own local or national culture, but also the
culture of tourism that is generated by Castell’s space of flows. The
developers of gastronomic tourism in the future will have to spend more time
building bridges between spaces of flows which provides the global market for
gastronomy and spaces of places where that gastronomy is produced and
maintained.
A Guide to Reading this Volume
Given the range and diversity of material and approaches presented here, we
felt it may be useful to outline the structure of the text, as well as the guiding
principles we used in writing it. Although one of the strengths of this book
arguably lies in the fact that it presents a range of different views on the
relationship between tourism and gastronomy, we have made some attempt
to develop areas of common ground.
One of the discussions among the authors concerned the terminology of the
text. There is a bewildering array of food-related terms to be found in the text,
including gastronomy, eno-gastronomy, sustainable gastronomy, cuisine,
meals, agro-alimentary products, foodways, food paths, taste trails and wine
routes. This diverse terminology reflects the wide range of disciplinary and
geographical backgrounds of the authors, and rather than attempting to
standardize the definitions, each author has defined these terms in their own
chapters. The only exception to this is the term ‘gastronomy’, which is so
central to the text that we decided to adopt a common definition for the
purposes of this book. We have therefore defined gastronomy as ‘the reflexive
cooking, preparation, presentation and eating of food’. This definition is dealt
with in more detail by Rosario Scarpato in Chapter 4.
In putting together the chapters in this volume we have tried to be analytic and
illustrative rather than comprehensive. The case studies presented here are
not designed to cover all types of gastronomy or tourism, but rather to focus
on specific issues and case studies that reflect what we consider to be
important issues in the relationship between the two fields. The chapters in
Part 1 of this volume consider some of the theoretical perspectives on the
relationship between tourism and gastronomy in more detail. In Chapter 2,
Hjalager applies value chain theory to the analysis of culinary tourism
development. She shows how regions and nations have increasingly had to
shift towards higher order levels of value added as food supplies and culinary
tourism have become globalized. In Chapter 3 Kevin Fields examines the
relationship between tourist motivations and the gastronomy tourism product.
He points to the need to tailor gastronomy products to individual tourist needs
and to weave them into total gastronomic experiences. Rosario Scarpato then
deals with tourism from a gastronomy studies perspective in Chapter 4. He
argues the need for tourism researchers to adopt a trans-disciplinary
gastronomic approach in order to analyse the relationship between tourism
and gastronomy effectively. Michael Hall and Richard Mitchell place the
development of gastronomy and tourism in the context of globalization and
localization in Chapter 5.
The case studies in the second part of this volume analyse some of the issues
that have arisen in developing and marketing gastronomic products in a wide
range of tourist markets. Chapter 6 (Boyne, Williams and Hall) and Chapter 7
(Jones and Jenkins) provide comparative cases studies of two marketing and
branding schemes in Scotland and Wales respectively. These chapters
demonstrate how important the local context not just of gastronomy, but also
of tourism is in determining the success of these developments. In Chapter 8
Rosario Scarpato deals with the issue of making gastronomy sustainable,
analyzing three case studies of ‘gastronomic tourist products’ in Australia,
Singapore and Italy. He illustrates that in the context of sustainable
gastronomy, the drive towards small-scale and ‘authentic’ products often
argued for in the field of sustainable tourism may have negative
consequences. Magda Antonioli Corigliano analyses the development of
Italian food and wine routes in Chapter 10, focusing on the need to develop
effective networks to sustain producers and to market the product effectively
to tourists. In Chapter 11, Hall and Mitchell demonstrate how Australia and
New Zealand have developed new food products and styles of cuisine, and
used these to develop food tourism. Tourism has in turn provided an
important link between networks of local producers and global markets. Beer,
Edwards, Fernandes and Sampaio compare two case studies from rural
regions of the UK and Portugal in Chapter 12, focusing in particular on the
relationship between regional agriculture, regional food cultures and
marketing and branding food for tourists.
In the concluding chapter, Hjalager and Richards draw together a number of
strands from the preceding chapters, and fit these into an epistemological
framework that indicates how new knowledge about the relationship between
tourism and gastronomy may be created, and indicates a research agenda for
the future.
In discussing the themes of this volume, we were struck by the similarities
between tourism and gastronomy. We have attempted to pull a number of
these parallels together in Figure 1.1, which places tourism and gastronomy in
the context of the development of the ‘experience economy’ as defined by
Pine and Gilmore (1999). As Kevin Fields points out in Chapter 3, both fields
are characterized by a production-consumption chain that results in the
creation of experiences. Gastronomy tourism can be related in its many forms
to different parts of the production-consumption continuum, from sampling the
‘raw’ product at the farm or vineyard (food and wine tourism) to the
gastronomic experiences provided by restaurants. In the former case the
‘quality of opportunity’, or the basic product is most important, whereas in the
restaurant much more hinges on the whole ‘quality of experience’ (Crompton
and Love 1995). Arguably, adding more elements to the basic product will
enhance the experience for the consumer, and add more value to the product.
We therefore see the convergence of gastronomy and tourism as being
closely linked to the rise of the experience economy and the constant need to
innovate and distinguish products and services in order to add value for the
consumer.
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