Characteristics and Practices of Gastro-tourists: Application for a 6+ Gastro-cluster Destination Development Model

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This research focuses on the characteristics and practices of self-identified gastro-tourists—travelers who plan excursions entirely or partially to experience other cultures through intense experiential gastronomic activities. This is the first empirical study that examines differences between ideal and actual gastro-tourist practices that include: number of activities in a given trip, travel distance between activities, spending practices across deliberate or incidental status, and identification with a culture. The study reports that overall travel and spending practices of gastro-tourists across generations (Baby Boomers, GenXers, and Millennials) are more alike than different. The study also identifies attributes and strategies that can be used to match the ideal desires and expectations of both deliberate and incidental gastro-tourists and found that 40% of tourists' most memorable gastro-experiences began as incidental. The study concludes by proposing a 6+ Gastro-cluster Destination Development Model that decision makers or planners in the tourism and/or hospitality industries could consider as they create or expand local gastro-tourism initiatives.

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... Issues of tourism and local food specialities served in a destination remain under-researched (Björk & Kauppinen-Räisänen, 2016). Although serving food linked to a specific location and its culture and heritage is related to perceptions of authenticity of the tourism experience (Melewar & Skinner, in press a), there is only limited research into concepts of authenticity as perceived by mainstream as opposed to gastro-tourists (Williams, Yuan, & Williams, 2018). Moreover, there remains a gap in knowledge when considering the elements of the servicescape that contribute to perceptions of authenticity and how this affects consumer decision-making (Meng & Choi, 2017). ...
... When considering definitions of food tourism, Hall, Sharples, Mitchell, Macionis, and Cambourne (2003, p. 9) focus on "those tourists whose activities, behaviours and, even, destination selection is influenced by an interest in food". While some destinations attract "gastro-tourists" (Williams et al., 2018), or "food tourists" (Hall et al., 2003) travellers whose primary motivation is to experience specific and unique local foods, other travellers may not be swayed so much by this factor when it comes to destination choice (Okumus, Kock, Scantlebury, & Okumus, 2013), but local food and food experiences may still be ". . . an essential part of their holidays" (Björk & Kauppinen-Räisänen, 2016, p. 178). ...
... Despite growing interest in these issues, there remains an under-researched area regarding tourism and the local food that is served in a particular destination, and that destination's food specialities (Björk & Kauppinen-Räisänen, 2016). This links the issue of food and tourism to the notion of authenticity, where authenticity is seen to relate to a destination's unique culture, heritage and traditions (Melewar & Skinner, in press a), a factor highly valued by gastro-tourists (Williams et al., 2018). Yet limited research exists into the concept of authenticity and food experiences regarding mainstream tourists, despite claims that tourists in general seek more authentic experiences while on vacation, with consumers "using products and experiences to reconnect to places, history, culture, and one another" (Eades, Arbogast, & Kozlowski, 2017, p. 57). ...
While there is a growing interest in the tourism and hospitality literature on authenticity, evidence is scarce regarding how tourists judge the authenticity of restaurants at the pre-purchase stage in a tourism destination. Our results identify the key criteria by which authenticity is judged in these settings, evidencing the importance of eating where the locals eat, in restaurants offering limited menus, with local wines and freshly prepared local speciality dishes. Authenticity relies less on interior design and restaurant décor than is the case for ethnic themed restaurants. While localness is valued more than authenticity, the two concepts are linked.
... Esthetics value comes from educating the mind that includes not only personal development but also an element of social change (Webster & Rennie, 2011). Esthetics experience means entering into an emotional environment (Thanh & Kirova, 2018), and the gastronomic products can offer esthetic personal differences, foodie tourists value meeting and getting to know different people through shared dining experiences (Williams et al., 2018). Bell (2014), in her study on cooking courses in Bali, evaluated the impacts of cooking courses where local small-scale entrepreneurs do their best to generate some income from tourists visiting the region. ...
... According to Williams et al. (2018), if a destination can offer tourists at least six interesting gastronomic experiences, there would be a bigger desire to travel towards that destination and stay there longer. The authors categorized gastrotourists into two categories as deliberate and incidental, and suggested that gastronomic experiences are important for both categories of tourists. ...
... In this context, the cooking courses that are organized in destinations can also offer interesting gastronomic experiences as well as attract both deliberate and incidental gastrotourists. Especially the six plus gastronomic experiences noted in the study of Williams et al. (2018) can be offered to tourists only within cooking courses. The content of a thoroughly planned cooking course is quite rich. ...
In this study, the experience dimensions developed by Pine and Gilmore were evaluated in the case of the cooking courses in which the tourists attended during their holidays. The data collection consists of comments from the tourists from different nationalities, who visited Turkey, and who shared their experiences connected to the participation in cooking courses in Istanbul. In total, 400 comments on five cooking courses in 2018-2019 were analyzed. The findings demonstrate that the tourists had an intense education and entertainment experience through the cooking courses. Moreover, although not as intense as the education and entertainment experience, some tourists were found to share their esthetics and escapism experiences. Consequently, the Pine and Gilmore’s experience dimensions have been validated for cooking courses. The study concludes that memorable experiences emerge and result in positive behavioral intentions.
Purpose This study aims to identify stakeholders and dimensions of the gastro-tourism cluster in Cyprus in order to facilitate the creation of a network of unique culinary experiences for tourists. Design/methodology/approach The qualitative research approach was undertaken through interaction with academics, researchers, and public and private sector stakeholders during the Gastro-Tourism Conference, which was organized by the University of Nicosia, Cyprus, in May 2022. The study draws on data from non-structured interviews conducted with tourism industry professionals and stakeholders. Findings Four stakeholders of the gastro-tourism cluster were identified: enterprises from the gastro sector, supportive enterprises and industries, public institutions, and other institutions. Geographic proximity and knowledge sharing are the main dimensions affecting the gastro-tourism cluster in Cyprus. Originality/value The authors identified stakeholders in and dimensions of the gastro-tourism cluster in Cyprus, each of which plays a significant role in creating culinary experiences for visitors and ensuring more sustainable and less seasonal development of the island as a destination.
Purpose Gastronomy can be a key destination choice factor. As tourists, people will be able to learn more about the culture of the place through its culinary assets. This paper aims to analyse the interest and the gastronomic motivations of tourists to the city of Granada (Spain), where two important UNESCO World Heritage Sites (WHS) are included. Design/methodology/approach To achieve the aim of this study, fieldwork was carried out on a representative sample of tourists in Granada (Spain). Specifically, a total of 1,612 valid surveys were filled out in culinary establishments and historical sites. In these surveys, the opinion of tourists regarding gastronomy and their motivations when travelling was assessed. Findings The results of this research allow to make a segmentation of tourists into three groups according to their position and their interest in gastronomy based on their destination choice, distinguishing among survivors, enjoyers and experiencers’ tourists. Additionally, it is confirmed that gastronomy is shaped as a motivation that influences the level of tourist satisfaction, performing as a differentiating element that can help increase the competitiveness of the destination. Originality/value This research contributes to the scarce academic literature on tourism experiences in a city with WHS recognitions. This study confirms the existence of a relationship between gastronomic motivations and the level of satisfaction achieved by tourists who visit the city of Granada, where no similar studies were found. In addition, this work confirms the connection between gastronomy and culture.
This research study investigates the importance consumers place on four restaurant dining facets (design, ambience, sociability, food and beverage) to ascertain how these elements contribute to memorable dining experience (MDEs). Restaurant formality and restaurant dining involvement were explored as additional influencing factors within the context of MDEs. Data were collected using an online survey administered to a sample of American diners. Through a measurement model approach, all four facets were found to define restaurant dining environment under MDEs. The findings provide meaningful insights to restaurant managers about how the dining environment of a restaurant can influence consumers’ experience in terms of co-creating memorability. These insights are particularly relevant in the post-pandemic era, when the way consumers interact with restaurant environments may change.
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The research subject of this monograph is multi-sided collaborative networks designed to help farmers and other entrepreneurs in rural areas to develop and accelerate the processes of business servitization in collaboration with a wide range of actors and groups. Even though service-driven business models are already used quite often in farming practice, the servitization of rural businesses, in contrast to the servitization of manufacturing, is still poorly studied in the scientific literature. Even fewer studies can be found exploring the benefits of collaboration in accelerating the territorial servitization of the rural regions. This research encourages researchers in rural development to focus on the phenomenon of collaboration and its potential to strengthen the economy of rural areas by implementing an innovative service-driven business model in farming and other rural businesses.
This chapter examines the emergence of craft beer as a noteworthy component of gastro-tourism. A grounded theory approach over a 2-year period (2017–2019) established the research and analysis framework, and provided the findings reported in this chapter. Our research has confirmed that: (1) large, global conglomerates; (2) national craft beer brands with bicoastal or multilocations; and (3) local boutique craft beer establishments are appealing to sought-after tourist attractions within their geographic locales. This chapter identified six aspects that optimize craft brewery–tourism relationships and six brewery-specific hospitality features, regardless of brewery type. Ultimately, a brewery-driven gastro-tourism development (12-point) model was developed to illustrate how craft breweries of all sizes contribute to the overall gastronomic reputation and highlight how the open, friendly, inclusive, brewery ethos, or gastro-communitas can help to positively shape an area’s overall unique local tourism culture—the area’s unique story!
Η αναζήτηση τουριστικών εμπειριών αποτελεί ίσως ένα από τα ισχυρότερα τουριστικά κίνητρα σήμερα. Η «Οικονομία της Εμπειρίας» των Pine and Gilmore επηρέασε σημαντικά όλους τους οικονομικούς κλάδους συμπεριλαμβανομένου και του τουρισμού. Σήμερα πολλές τουριστικές επιχειρήσεις έχουν στραφεί στο σχεδιασμό και προσφορά εμπειριών με σκοπό την διαφοροποίηση των υπηρεσιών με στόχο την βιώσιμη ανάπτυξή τους. Η παρούσα έρευνα αποτελεί την πρώτη προσπάθεια διερεύνησης των παραγόντων εκείνων που επηρεάζουν την εμπειρία και την ικανοποίηση των τουριστών που συμμετέχουν σε βιωματικές δραστηριότητες αλλά και την μεταβληθείσα τουριστική εικόνα για την περιφέρεια της Θεσσαλίας. Τα αποτελέσματα από τα 262 ερωτηματολόγια που συγκεντρώθηκαν έδειξαν πως την εμπειρία των τουριστών επηρεάζουν έξι παράγοντες (i) η Αισθητική του Περιβάλλοντος, (ii) τα Συναισθήματα των Τουριστών, (iii) η Ενεργός Συμμετοχή των Τουριστών, (iv) η Αλληλεπίδραση μεταξύ Τουριστών – Παρόχου (v) η Οικονομική Αξία και (vi) η Αυθεντικότητα της δραστηριότητας. Επιπλέον, επιβεβαιώθηκε η άμεση επίδραση της τουριστικής εμπειρίας στην ικανοποίηση των τουριστών και η άμεση επίδραση της ικανοποίηση των τουριστών στην μεταβληθείσα τουριστική εικόνα του τόπου. Σημαντικότερο εύρημα της έρευνας αποτέλεσε η επιβεβαίωση της έμμεσης σχέσης της τουριστικής εμπειρίας με την μεταβληθείσα εικόνα του τόπου και του πλήρους μεσολαβητικού ρόλου της ικανοποίησης των τουριστών σε αυτή.
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