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Abstract

Purpose The purpose of the current study is to profile Orlando and Florida culinary fans and compare them to culinary critics on several factors, including sociodemographics, psychographics, and travel behavior characteristics, and to identify potential factors that explain visitors' tendency to promote or criticize the cuisine of a destination. The study also seeks to identify the image attributes that explain the likelihood to visit for culinary fans and critics. Design/methodology/approach Online survey responses from 4,082 participants were analyzed using Qualtrics for survey design and Amazon's Mechanical Turk for data collection. Findings Demographic differences between culinary fans and critics were identified and significant relationships between perceptions of a destination's cuisine and various elements of the visitor experience were found. Research limitations/implications The current study extends the literature on the characteristics of culinary tourists by showing a significant relationship between perceptions of a destination's cuisine and various elements of the visitor experience, such as destination image, satisfaction, number of past trips, and revisit intentions. Future studies should look at a greater number of distinct and geographically diverse destinations to test the generalizability of the current study's findings. Practical implications The results of this study provide implication for destination marketers in general and for those of Orlando and Florida in particular, especially in using cuisine as a potential core offering rather than a peripheral tourism product. Originality/value This study is believed to be the first to compare culinary fans and culinary critics, thereby extending the literature and demonstrating several differences between the two groups.
Culinary fans vs culinary
critics: characteristics
and behavior
Robin M. Back, Bendegul Okumus and Asli D.A. Tasci
Rosen College of Hospitality Management, University of Central Florida,
Orlando, Florida, USA
Abstract
Purpose The purpose of the current study is to profile Orlando and Florida culinary fans and compare them
to culinary critics on several factors, including sociodemographics, psychographics, and travel behavior
characteristics, and to identify potential factors that explain visitorstendency to promote or criticize the
cuisine of a destination. The study also seeks to identify the image attributes that explain the likelihood to visit
for culinary fans and critics.
Design/methodology/approach Online survey responses from 4,082 participants were analyzed using
Qualtrics for survey design and Amazons Mechanical Turk for data collection.
Findings Demographic differences between culinary fans and critics were identified and significant relationships
between perceptions of a destinations cuisine and various elements of the visitor experience were found.
Research limitations/implications The current study extends the literature on the characteristics of
culinary tourists by showing a significant relationship between perceptions of a destinations cuisine and
various elements of the visitor experience, such as destination image, satisfaction, number of past trips, and
revisit intentions. Future studies should look at a greater number of distinct and geographically diverse
destinations to test the generalizability of the current studys findings.
Practical implications The results of this study provide implication for destination marketers in general
and for those of Orlando and Florida in particular, especially in using cuisine as a potential core offering rather
than a peripheral tourism product.
Originality/value This study is believed to be the first to compare culinary fans and culinary critics,
thereby extending the literature and demonstrating several differences between the two groups.
Keywords Culinary tourism, Gourmet tourism, Food tourism, Cuisine, Destination image, Satisfaction,
Loyalty
Paper type Research paper
1. Introduction
Gastronomic potential or local cuisine of a destination is considered a major factor affecting
touristsdestination choice, travel experiences, and decisions to return to the same
destination (Ab Karim and Chi, 2010;Getz, 2000;Robinson and Getz, 2014;Sotiriadis, 2015;
Seo et al., 2017;Silkes et al., 2013;Stavrianea et al., 2017), with food purchases constituting
about one-third of all tourist spending (World Health Organization, 2015). The gastronomic
component of destinations not only attracts visitors, but also increases their understanding of
uniqueness and distinctive features of a destination (Ant
on et al., 2019). In particular,
authentic cuisines, availability of restaurants, food outlets such as street food, night bazaars,
and food and beverage festivals can increase the attractiveness of a destination (Henderson,
2016;Hu and Ritchie, 1993;Sotiriadis, 2015).
Culinary fans
vs culinary
critics
© Robin M. Back, Bendegul Okumus and Asli D.A. Tasci. Published in International Hospitality Review.
Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons
Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works
of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the
original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at http://creativecommons.
org/licences/by/4.0/legalcode
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
https://www.emerald.com/insight/2516-8142.htm
Received 25 October 2019
Revised 4 February 2020
Accepted 5 February 2020
International Hospitality Review
Emerald Publishing Limited
2516-8142
DOI 10.1108/IHR-10-2019-0024
Although many destinations cannot deliver authentic food experiences (Hillel et al., 2013),
authentic gastronomic brands have become a distinct tendency in recent years due to their
potential for unique culinary experiences. According to the World Food Travel Association
(2019), authenticity is the first motivator for food-loving travelers. Therefore, local cuisine,
especially authentic cuisine, has become a strategic asset for destination marketing
(Robinson and Getz, 2014). The local cuisine of a destination reflects identities, daily lifestyles,
religions, beliefs, habits, traditions, and customs of a society (Sormaz et al., 2016). Examples of
culinary resources and events include tea ceremonies in China and Japan (Camellia Tea
Ceremony, 2019;Wong, 2016), winery tours, wine tasting, fine dining and wedding
ceremonies at wineries in France (Wine Paths, 2019), Italy (Cellar Tours, 2019), Spain (Back
et al., 2018) and California (Visit NapaValley, 2019), farm tours in Florida (Florida Department
of Agriculture and Consumer Services, 2019c), rose harvesting in Turkey (Daily Sabah, 2016)
and beer festivals in Europe (La Tr
efle, 2018), to name but a few.
Culinary tourists seek ethnic and local food ingredients, providing unique taste and flavor
experiences (Silkes et al., 2013). Even though some travelers may refuse some local products
due to health conditions (e.g. food allergies) or psychological factors (e.g. food neophobia),
local foods are attractive and unique choices for many travelers (Bj
ork and Kauppinen-
R
ais
anen, 2016) and provide excitement, relaxation, escapism, status and education as a form
of entertainment (Hillel et al., 2013;Ryu and Jang, 2006;Sparks, 2007).
Therefore, gastronomy tourism or culinary tourism, as a component of cultural tourism, has
recently been receiving increased attention from both academics and tourism organizations,
with the United Nations World Tourism Organization having hosted its fifth World Forum on
Gastronomy Tourism in Spain in 2019 (UNWTO, 2019). Some researchers have evaluated
destinationsgastronomic potential by describing their products, cuisine, natural and cultural
resources (Hjalager and Corigliano, 2000;Okumus and Cetin, 2018;Robinson et al., 2018),
while others have studied the characteristics of culinary tourists (Ignatov, 2003;Ignatov and
Smith, 2006;Lang Research, 2001;Noseworthy et al.,2005;Sohn and Yuan, 2013).
Despite these studies with implications about the characteristics of culinary travelers,
there is a lack of attention to differences between those with a positive attitude towards a
destinations culinary offerings (referred to as culinary fans) and those with a negative
attitude towards a destinations culinary offerings (referred to as culinary critics).
Understanding the profiles of both culinary fans and critics and how they differ in
sociodemographic and behavioral characteristics would help in better explaining how to tap
into the culinary tourism market. This information would be helpful for destination
marketing organizations (DMOs) and local industry stakeholders to make strategic decisions
in product and market development for successfully tapping culinary tourism potentials of
the destination. Further, while consumption of food is both a physical necessity and a
recreational activity, and an integral part of the tourism experience that all visitors must
indulge in, the impact of the effect of local cuisine on the visitor experience is often neglected
in tourist destination studies (Sengel et al., 2015).
Thus, the purpose of the current study is to identify and compare the characteristics of
culinary fans and culinary critics of two tourist destinations in the U.S.A., Orlando (a
metropolis in central Florida) and Florida (the state overall). More specifically, the study aims
to compare fans and critics of these destinations on several factors, including
sociodemographics, psychographics, and behavioral characteristics. The study also aims
to identify the image attributes that explain the likelihood to visit for culinary critics and fans,
thereby extending the literature in this neglected area and providing significant practical
implications for both culinary tourism specifically and destination marketing overall.
While Florida as a destination (the mother brand) naturally includes Orlando (the child
brand), the state and the Orlando area are marketed by distinct destination marketing
organizations (DMOs) (VisitFlorida and VisitOrlando), and perceptions of the state as a whole
IHR
may be quite different from those of the Orlando area specifically. With many attractions,
theme parks, water parks, sports, recreation, outdoor activities, beaches, natural parks and
springs, shopping centers, broad accommodation availability and international airports,
Orlando as a metropolis and Florida as a state are leading destinations for visitors globally
(VisitOrlando, 2019;State of Florida, 2019). The tourism industry contributes to Orlandos
economy with 75 million visitors in 2018 (Orlando Business Journal, 2019) and over $50 billion
in economic impact annually (Orlando Economic Partnership, 2019). Similarly, Florida is the
top travel destination in the world with 126.1 million visitors reported in 2018 (State of
Florida, 2019;Visit Florida, 2019). Thus, comparison of culinary critics and fans of these
destinations would set a benchmark for other destinations with different tourism and
gastronomic potentials.
2. Literature review
2.1 Culinary tourism
Culinary tourism research has been conducted since Belisles (1983) article on the interplay
between tourism and food production. However, it is only more recently (since 2008) that this
area has seen unprecedented growth in terms of academic articles, textbooks, special issues of
journals and other publications, and conferences (Ellis et al., 2018). The terms culinary
tourism,”“food tourism,and gastronomy tourismare used interchangeably by both
academics (Horng and Tsai, 2012;S
anchez-Ca~
nizares and L
opez-Guzm
an, 2012) and
practitioners. The UNWTOs Committee on Tourism and Competitiveness defines
gastronomy tourism as a type of tourism activity which is characterized by the visitors
experience linked with food and related products and activities while travelling,and goes on
to say that it may also involve other related activities (UNWTO, n.d.). Such activities may
include visits to local producers, food festivals, and cooking classes (UNWTO, n.d.). The
organization also considers wine tourism to be a crucial component of gastronomy tourism
(UNWTO, 2016, p. 1). Another frequently used definition of food in tourism is visitation to
primary and secondary food producers, food festivals, restaurants and specific locations for
which food tasting and/or experiencing the attributes of specialist food production region are
the primary motivating factor for travel(Hall and Sharples, 2003, p. 10).
There are also a number of definitions that claim culinary tourism to be virtually any
tourist experience involving a destinations culinary offerings (Presenza and Chiappa, 2013).
Such definitions, however, may be too general, leading to almost any tourist experience
involving food to be classified as culinary tourism (McKercher et al., 2008), which would
effectively encompass most tourism experiences. Culinary tourism must, therefore, be more
specific. Montanari (2009) referred to food as a cultural reference point,containing
information about the culture and geography of a destination, while Metro-Roland (2013)
discussed food as representative of the cultural heritage of a destination. In a recent study,
Ellis et al. (2018) found food to be a cultural experience, with authenticity of prime importance.
Activities involving tourists and relating to food may not, on their own, be sufficient to be
categorized as culinary tourism, motivation is also an important consideration (Adeyinka-Oji
and Khoo-Lattimore, 2013;Hall, 2006). For the purposes of the current study, therefore,
culinary tourism is believed to be tourist activities where an interest in culinary or other food-
related experiences are the primary motivator (Hall, 2006), and not all tourist destinations will
therefore necessarily be culinary tourism destinations.
2.2 Culinary tourism destinations
Food may be effectively used to promote and position a destination (Hjalager and Richards,
2002), with a growing number of destinations promoting their cuisine as a core tourism
Culinary fans
vs culinary
critics
product (Ab Karim and Chi, 2010). This is particularly relevant to destinations with well-
known cuisines, Thailand, Italy and France being prime examples of such destinations that
have been promoting culinary tourism (Ab Karim and Chi, 2010). In fact, a number of
destinations show cuisine to be one of their primary tourism draws, e.g. Italy (Boyne et al.,
2002), Hong Kong (Au and Law, 2002), and Turkey (Rimmington and Yuksel, 1998). Food can
be used in developing a destination image (Quan and Wang, 2004), as well as in representing a
destinations cultural identity (Frochot, 2003). Regions with strong food cultures are able to
take advantage of this asset in marketing their tourism product in order to attract visitors
who are interested in new gastronomic experiences (Ab Karim and Chi, 2010), and to
stimulate international visitation (Horng et al., 2012).
A significant relationship has been found between the food image of a destination and
touristsintentions to visit (Ab Karim and Chi, 2010), and destinations that boast a strong or
unique food culture can reap a number of benefits. Food-based activities have been found to
significantly impact visitorslevels of satisfaction, return intentions, and positive word of
mouth (Stone et al., 2019). When marketing a cuisine (local, regional, or national) to potential
culinary tourists, however, it is imperative that the product is appropriately packaged and
marketed with a consistent image if the full positive impact is to be attained (Horng et al.,
2012). The development of culinary neighborhoodswithin a city may also draw culinary
tourists to certain areas (Beiriger, 2015). Thus, while some destinations have the advantage of
well-known cuisines that draw visitors, it is possible to create a strong culinary brand in order
to attract culinary tourists with the right packaging and marketing and the promotion of
traditional products or dishes. This has been shown to the case in a study by Alonso et al.
(2018) examining the potential for developing culinary tourism in Lima, Peru.
2.3 Culinary tourism potential of Orlando and Florida
With a warm climate and a variety of land characteristics, Florida has a large agricultural
industry providing plentiful plantation and farming sources of fresh ingredients. The diverse
demographic (White 72.5 percent, Hispanic 28.6 percent, Black 23.9 percent, Asian 3.4
percent, Native American 0.1 percent,) and cultural profile shape the unique food culture of
the region (Population USA, 2019). According to Florida Department of Agriculture and
Consumer Services (2019a), Florida has 9.45 million acres utilized by 47,000 commercial farms
and ranches. Florida ranks first in the US in the value of production of cucumbers, grapefruit,
oranges, squash, sugarcane, fresh market snap beans, and fresh market tomatoes, and second
in the value of production of bell peppers, strawberries, watermelons, fresh market cabbage
and fresh market sweet corn (Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services,
2019a). Livestock and other farm products such as honey have also become strengths of
Florida (Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, 2019a,b). Florida is also
a wine producing state, with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
listing 23 certified Florida farm wineries with tasting rooms open to the public on its website
(Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, n.d.). The native Muscadine
grapes used for winemaking in Florida have also been shown to possess extensive health
benefits that have not been effectively communicated to consumers (Alonso, 2014).
Floridas world-class restaurant scene continues to evolve, with a myriad of award-
winning and celebrity chefs opening new restaurants throughout the state and an evolving
street food scene (Sherman, 2019). The South Beach Wine and Food Festival held annually in
Miami Beach has grown to be one of the largest food and wine festivals in the United States
(Park et al., 2008). Having boasted 20,000 attendees over a 3-day period in 2004 (Park et al.,
2008), the festival has grown to attract more than 65,000 attendees over a 5-day period in 2019,
its 18th year (Cision PR Newswire, 2019). Another major festival, the Epcot International Food
and Wine Festival held at Walt Disney Worlds Epcot theme park in Orlando each year also
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continues to grow in both scope and duration. Featuring food and wine from around the globe,
wine seminars, wine dinners, celebrity chef cooking demonstrations, and music, the 2019
festival, to be held for the 24th time, will run for an astonishing 87 days (Fickley-Baker, 2019).
With world-class theme parks, attractions, events, resorts, and vacation rentals, Orlando
has dining and nightlife districts offering dishes prepared by nationally recognized chefs and
local legends, global cuisines, and many farm-to-table options at luxury resorts (VisitOrlando,
2019). Although Orlando is often thought of as a chain restaurantdestination, with a
number of the nations top chain restaurant operators headquartered there (e.g. Darden
Restaurants, Planet Hollywood, Red Lobster), it also has a burgeoning fine dining scene
(Baginski, 2010), which continues to evolve. However, the highly respected Michelin Guide,
which bestows their coveted star ratings on restaurants around the world, still does not rate
restaurants anywhere in Orlando or, indeed, anywhere in Florida, confining their United
States ratings to just four cities, Chicago, New York, Washington D.C., and San Francisco
(TripSavvy, 2019).
Although Orlando and the State of Florida are well-known for their scenery and their
entertainment industry, there is still limited empirical evidence and discussion on their
potential for culinary tourism. Academic research on the culinary tourism potential of these
destinations would help in identifying strengths and weaknesses that should be addressed in
their marketing strategies. As two of the most popular tourist destinations among both
domestic and international travelers, these destinations would be expected to yield a
comparable number of respondents with different culinary attitudes. The goal is to identify
potential factors that explain visitorstendency to promote or criticize the cuisine of a
destination by comparing fans and critics according to sociodemographic, personality and
behavioral differences. Comparing culinary fans and critics of two destinations will help to
achieve robustness of findings for external validity.
2.4 Culinary tourists
Cairns et al. (2010, p. 592) defined foodiesas people with a longstanding passion about
eating and learning about food but who are not food professionals.Such people, whose
numbers are said to be increasing around the world, are the ideal target segment for culinary
tourism destinations (Kline et al., 2018). A number of studies have investigated the
characteristics of foodies and culinary tourists, with different findings revealing them to be
quite diverse in nature. Green et al. (2015) found those that self-identified as foodies to actively
seek special food products, keep up with their local restaurant scene, and photograph their
food. Sohn and Yuan (2013) revealed culinary tourists to be idealists, achievers, explorers,
belongers, and innovators, while other studies found them to be older, more educated,
wealthier, and spend approximately twice as much as generic tourists during their visit
(Noseworthy et al., 2005;Ignatov and Smith, 2006). Yet, Lang Research (2001) defined culinary
tourists as young and explorative, and Ignatov (2003) found them to have the highest socio-
economic profiles and engage in more activities during their travels, staying at spas, hotels,
inns, and resorts.
It is evident from the aforementioned studies that these food enthusiastsare far from a
homogenous group, a conclusion also reached by Kline et al. (2018) who found multiple types
of foodie tourists with varying social demographics, food activity interests, and dining
preferences. Therefore, they suggest that no single marketing strategy will work for all
culinary tourists, rather targeting specific groups according to their preferences. They
further suggest that existing food tourism destinations be examined in order to determine
whether certain types of foodiesare drawn to particular destinations.
Even though the existing literature on culinary or food tourists reflects some information
about their characteristics, there is a lack of research on the characteristics and differences of
Culinary fans
vs culinary
critics
culinary fans of a destination compared to those of its culinary critics. Despite the lack of
studies, it is logical to assume that these groups may be different in sociodemographics,
psychographics and behavioral characteristics. To start with, the local cuisine of a
destination, with its unique tastes specific to certain regions and cultures, may be more to the
liking of visitors coming from certain regions. Additionally, the more experience a visitor has
with a destination, the more familiar with and the more likely to develop a taste for the local
cuisine of the destination. Furthermore, as the saying goes the way to the heart is through
the stomach,and thus, visitors who enjoy the food at a destination may be more fond of, and
thus, have a better perception of the destination. Based on these logical arguments, the
general assumption of the current study is that culinary fans and culinary critics of Orlando
and Florida have different sociodemographic, psychographic, and behavioral characteristics.
3. Methods
For both Orlando and Florida, large datasets were acquired using Qualtrics for survey design
and Amazons Mechanical Turk for data collection. The sociodemographic characteristics of
respondents were measured using the typical sociodemographic variables (i.e. age, gender,
level of education, marital status, race/ethnicity, and income level). A psychographic variable
(the personality trait of emotion-based/logic-based decision making) was also included. Based
on the Ignatovs (2003) findings that foodies engage in more activities during their travels,
staying at spas, hotels, inns, and resorts, emotion-based/logic-based decision making trait
was deemed as an appropriate differentiator between culinary fans and culinary critics in the
study. For the emotion-based decision-making, Barchards (2001) 9-item emotion-based
decision-making scale with two factors (emotion-based decision-making (0.73) and logic-
based decision-making (0.67), was adapted using a 7-point scale (1 5very inaccurate,
75very accurate).
Behavioral characteristics included a number of variables regarding past visit behavior,
future likelihood to visit, information sources, destination choice factors, and perceived
destination image. Destination experience was measured by questions asking about the
existence and number of past trips, 1-item overall satisfaction with past trips (1 5very
dissatisfied, 10 5very satisfied), and 1-item likelihood to visit again (1 5very unlikely,
10 5very likely). After the likelihood to visit, respondents were also asked to rate the
importance (1 5very unimportant, 7 5very important) of six reasons to choose the
destination for their next vacation including their familiarity, destination image, quality of
products and services, premium prices, value for money, overall desirability, and their loyalty
to the destination. Based on destination image literature (Tasci and Gartner, 2007;Tasci et al.,
2007), a 14-item image scale was developed to measure the image of different attributes
pertaining to product offerings of each destination (1 5extremely poor, 7 5excellent).
Furthermore, a 9-item list of information sources was also used to measure their influence on
forming images of the destinations; respondents were asked to rank order these information
sources, with 1 being most influentialand 9 least influential. Typical sources that people use
to gather information about destinations and other tourism and hospitality products were
included in this list. Finally, an open-ended question, what comes to your mind first when
you think of Orlando/Florida,was asked to see whether food or cuisine is provided as a
strength of these destinations.
A total of 2,320 surveys for Orlando and 1,762 surveys for Florida were completed. In
analyzing the data, first, the images of Orlando and Florida were compared using t-test. Since
using large sample sizes is known to create guaranteed statistical significance, the real or
practical differences are checked by testing the effect size and reporting eta-squared (
ɳ
2)
indices as well. The effect size or the degree of association for the interval variables that the
culinary fans and culinary critics groups are compared on is measured by eta-squared
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(
ɳ
25SSeffect / SStotal) as the estimate of correlation for the sample (Hays, 1994;Khalilzadeh
and Tasci, 2017;Kirk, 1982,1996;Tabachnick and Fidell, 1989), where a value of 0.01 is
considered a small effect, 0.06 a medium effect and 0.14 a large effect (Kirk, 1996, p.751).
Next, respondents were grouped into culinary fans and culinary critics by using the
ratings on the local cuisineitem in the destination image scale. Those respondents who
rated the destination with a number ranging 1 to 3 (extremely poor, very poor and poor) were
considered as potential criticizers and thus termed as culinary critics (n5256 for Orlando,
n5122 for Florida) while only those who rated the destination with the highest point
(7 5excellent) were considered as potential fans (n5224 for Orlando, n5187 for Florida).
This segmentation method was arbitrarily decided to be appropriate to differentiate between
fandom and critical tendencies and thus sufficiently differentiate between critics and fans.
Such a conservative approach was taken for the fan group in order to eliminate any room for
potential criticizing tendency in this group and thus differentiate from the critics. Thus, those
who rated the local cuisineitem on the destination scale from 4 to 6 (neither poor nor good,
good and very good) were considered to be neither culinary critics nor true culinary fans, and
were omitted from the analysis.
These groups were then compared on all sociodemographic, personality, and behavior
variables for both destinations. Crosstabs with chi-square test for categorical variables, and
t-test for continuous variables were utilized in comparing the two groups. Since the numbers
of respondents in culinary fans and culinary critics were smaller than 300 for both
destinations, effect size measures were not needed in these analyses. Finally, Ordinary Least
Squares (OLS) regression analysis was used to identify the relative influence of destination
image attributes on the likelihood to visit Orlando and Florida by both culinary critics and
culinary fans. SPSS version 24.0 was used for all analyses. Since culinary fansratings of
local cuisine attribute is constant (7 or excellent), this attribute was not included in the
regression model for fans.
4. Results
First, the image of Orlando and Florida was compared. Results in Table I show that both
destinations were rated above the middle point (4) on the 7-point scale. Orlando was rated
highest on themed products (e.g. themed hotels, theme parks) (6.19), followed by events and
activities for tourists (5.65), and outdoor activities (5.57) while Florida was rated highest on
beaches/water attractions (6.14), followed by themed products (e.g. themed hotels, theme
parks) (5.88), outdoor activities (5.75), and scenic beauty (5.75), on average. Both destinations
lowest-rated items were the same, i.e. localshospitable attitude, uniqueness of culture/
customs, and cultural/heritage attractions, all of which rated between 4 and 5 on average.
Even though t-test results revealed significant differences between Orlando and Florida on 10
of the destination image attributes and the overall image rating, the eta-squared
(
ɳ
25SSeffect / SStotal) measures revealed a small effect on three image attributes
(themed products, beaches/water attractions, and cultural/heritage attractions) and a
medium effect on one image attribute (scenic beauty). Florida was rated significantly higher
on these attributes except for themed products, which was Orlandos strong image
dimension, on average. Orlando and Floridas destination images are similar on all other
attributes. One of these attributes is local cuisine, which was rated as the fourth lowest item
for both destinations (4.86 for Orlando, 5.03 for Florida).
When asked what comes to mind when thinking about Orlando and Florida, only 24 of the
Florida respondents mentioned food, specifically, Cuban food, seafood, high-quality food,
variety of food, Miami food scene, and food delicacies. One respondent mentioned food as a
negative aspect of Florida. For Orlando, a mere 3 respondents mentioned food or seafood in
their answers.
Culinary fans
vs culinary
critics
Using the ratings on local cuisine, respondents were grouped into culinary fans (those who
rated excellent) and culinary critics (those who rated extremely poor, very poor, or poor).
Then, these groups were compared by sociodemographic, personality, and behavioral
characteristics for Orlando and Florida (Table II). Results of t-test and chi-square test show
some differences among the groups. On age, only Florida respondents are significantly
different, culinary fans being older than critics. In gender, females dominate the culinary fans
group while males dominate the culinary critics group for both Orlando and Florida. Both
Orlando and Florida culinary fans and critics also differ in education level. Although both
groups are dominated by college or university graduates followed by high school or
vocational school graduates, culinary critics groups are more likely to be college graduates or
masters or doctoral degree holders than fans for both Orlando and Florida. In marital status,
Orlando culinary fans and critics are similar. However, Florida culinary critics are more likely
to be single than fans, who are more likely to be married, living with a partner, or divorced. In
race/ethnicity, Florida culinary fans and critics are similar this time, while Orlando culinary
critics are more likely to be white/Caucasian and culinary fans being more likely to be African
American and Asian. Interestingly, culinary fans and culinary critics are similar in annual
income for both Orlando and Florida, where the majority of respondents reported an income
category between 15K and 75K USD.
As can be seen in Table II, on the personality trait, both culinary fans and critics rated
higher on logic-based decision-making than that on emotion-based decision-making for both
destinations. Nonetheless, culinary fans and critics are significantly different on emotion-
based decision-making, fans rated higher on emotion-based decision-making traits than
critics for both destinations. However, for logic-based decision-making, only Orlando
respondents showed significant differences, fans rating significantly higher than critics do.
Culinary fans and critics were compared on their experiences with Orlando or Florida
as a travel destination (Table III). Crosstabs with chi-square test showed significant
Image attributes*
Orlando
(N52,320)
Florida
(N51,762)
Mean
Std.
Dev. Mean
Std.
Dev.
t-test
significance
Effect size
η
2**
Themed products (e.g. theme hotels,
theme parks)
6.19 1.141 5.88 1.293 0.000 0.016
Events and activities for tourists 5.65 1.139 5.53 1.193 0.001 0.003
Outdoor activities 5.57 1.199 5.75 1.131 0.000 0.005
Climate/weather conditions 5.51 1.229 5.29 1.532 0.000 0.006
Overall fun and excitement 5.47 1.123 5.47 1.096 0.973 0.000
Overall image 5.45 1.099 5.38 1.178 0.032 0.001
Nightlife and entertainment
opportunities
5.40 1.273 5.42 1.243 0.692 0.000
Information resources for tourists 5.38 1.168 5.36 1.227 0.548 0.000
Shopping opportunities 5.32 1.284 5.09 1.244 0.000 0.008
Beaches/water attractions 5.03 1.488 6.14 1.046 0.000 0.015
Scenic beauty 4.92 1.329 5.75 1.160 0.000 0.095
Local cuisine*** 4.86 1.265 5.03 1.173 0.000 0.005
Localshospitable attitude 4.82 1.271 4.76 1.320 0.151 0.000
Uniqueness of culture/customs 4.25 1.426 4.53 1.412 0.000 0.009
Cultural/heritage attractions 4.21 1.423 4.62 1.341 0.000 0.020
Note(s): *Please rate Orlando/Florida as a travel destination in terms of the following attributes on the 7-point
scale below (1 5Extremely Poor, 7 5Excellent); **0.01 5a small effect, 0.06 5a medium effect, 0.14 5a large
effect; ***This attribute was used to segment respondents into Culinary Fans (those who rated 1 to 3, or
Extremely Poor, Very Poor or Poor) and Culinary Critics (those who rated 7 or Excellent)
Table I.
Comparison of Orlando
and Florida on the
image attributes
IHR
differences in the existence of past trips for both destinations; fans are more likely to be
visitors, while critics are more likely than fans to be non-visitors for both destinations. In
Sociodemographic and
psychographic
characteristics
Orlando (n5480) Florida (n5309)
Culinary
fans
(n5224)
Culinary
critics
(n5256)
Culinary
fans
(n5187)
Culinary
critics
(n5122)
Comparison test
(t-test/Chi-square test
significance
Age (
χ
) 33.59 31.87 31.10 Orlando 50.059
Florida 50.001
Gender (%)
Male 43.0 55.9 37.4 61.5 Orlando 50.006
Female 57.0 43.4 62.6 38.5 Florida 50.000
Do not wish to identify 0.8
Highest level of education (%)
High school 25.8 17.6 18.7 21.3 Orlando 50.000
Vocational school/
associate
14.9 5.5 20.9 9.8 Florida 50.039
College/University 48.9 61.7 46.5 59.8
Masters or PhD 9.5 15.2 13.4 9.0
Other 0.9 0.5
Marital status (%)
Single 41.2 51.6 34.8 55.7 Orlando 50.374
Married 37.6 30.9 39.6 25.4 Florida 50.009
Divorced 7.2 5.9 8.0 5.7
Separated 1.4 1.6 0.5 0
Living with a partner 11.8 9.4 16.6 11.5
Other 0.9 0.8 0.5 1.6
Race/ethnicity (%)
White/caucasian 66.1 80.1 67.7 72.1 Orlando 50.019
African American 10.9 5.9 8.1 7.4 Florida 50.883
Hispanic 4.5 4.3 7.5 7.4
Asian 14.9 9.0 12.9 11.5
Native American 1.4 0.4 0.5 0
Pacific Islander 0.5 0 0 0
Other 1.8 0.4 3.2 1.6
Annual income level (%)
Under 15,000 21.3 18.0 14.5 20.7 Orlando 50.130
15,00024,999 16.3 18.0 17.2 15.7 Florida 50.831
25,00034,999 14.9 12.5 19.9 14.9
35,00049,999 18.6 17.2 18.3 15.7
50,00074,999 14.0 18.8 17.2 19.0
75,00099,999 5.4 10.9 7.0 7.4
100,000149,999 5.4 3.1 3.8 5.0
150,000199,999 2.3 0.4 2.2 1.7
200,000 or above 1.8 1.2 0 0
Decision-making characteristics
*
(
χ
)
Emotion-based 4.99 4.17 4.61 3.83 Orlando 50.000
Florida 50.000
Logic-based 5.34 4.89 5.31 5.20 Orlando 50.000
Florida 50.421
Note(s):*15Very Inaccurate, 7 5Very Accurate
Table II.
Comparison of
sociodemographic and
psychographic
characteristics of
culinary fans and
culinary critics of
Orlando and Florida
Culinary fans
vs culinary
critics
terms of the number of past visits, only Florida fans rated significantly higher in number
of past visits than critics, on average. On both satisfaction and likelihood to visit, culinary
fans rated significantly higher, about 2 points higher on the 10-point scale, than critics, on
average. When they were asked the importance of reasons to choose the destination for
their next vacation (their familiarity, destination image, quality of products and services,
premium prices, value for money, overall desirability, and their loyalty for the
destination), culinary fans rated all reasons significantly higher than culinary critics for
both destinations, on average. As can be seen in Table IV, culinary fans also rated all
image attributes and the overall image significantly higher than those of critics for both
destinations, on average.
On information sources that were influential in forming their destination images, prior
visit, Internet, and friends and relatives were the top three contenders (Table V). When
Orlando Florida
Culinary
fans
(n5224)
Culinary
critics
(n5256)
Culinary
fans
(n5187)
Culinary
critics
(n5122)
t-test and chi square
test significance
Have you traveled to Orlando/Florida for vacation purposes so far?
Yes % 69.6 58.6 79.7 57.4 Orlando 50.012
No % 30.4 41.4 20.3 42.6 Florida 50.000
Have you traveled to
Orlando for vacation
purposes so far? If so,
how many times (
χ
)
3.93 2.93 5.06 3.24 Orlando 50.217
Florida 50.003
Please indicate your
overall satisfaction with
your trip(s) to Orlando/
Florida* (
χ
)
9.13 7.30 9.16 6.74 Orlando 50.000
Florida 50.000
Please indicate your
likelihood to visit
Orlando/Florida** (
χ
)
8.34 4.73 6.96 3.56 Orlando 50.000
Florida 50.000
Please indicate the importance of the following reasons for you to choose Orlando for your
next vacation*** (
χ
)
My familiarity with
Orlando/Florida
5.23 3.82 4.91 3.52 Orlando 50.000
Florida 50.000
Image of attractions and
activities in Orlando/
Florida
6.32 5.12 6.08 4.94 Orlando 50.000
Florida 50.000
Orlandos/Floridas high-
quality touristic products
and services
6.11 4.57 5.60 4.07 Orlando 50.000
Florida 50.000
Orlandos/Floridas
premium price products
and services
5.39 3.79 4.86 3.42 Orlando 50.000
Florida 50.000
OrlandoFloridas
touristic products
offering high value for
money
5.94 4.37 5.20 3.98 Orlando 50.000
Florida 50.000
Orlandos/Floridas
overall desirability
6.21 4.57 6.14 5.02 Orlando 50.000
Florida 50.000
My loyalty for Orlando/
Florida
4.86 2.42 4.11 2.75 Orlando 50.000
Florida 50.000
Note(s):*15Very Dissatisfied, 10 5Very Satisfied; **1 5Very Unlikely, 10 5Very Likely; ***1 5Very
Unimportant, 7 5Very Important
Table III.
Comparison of travel
experience
characteristics of
culinary fans and
culinary critics of
Orlando and Florida
IHR
culinary fans and culinary critics were compared on these information sources, few
significant differences were identified between Orlando and Florida. Culinary fans of both
destinations rely more on general knowledge from school and movies or TV shows than
critics did. While Florida culinary fans rely more on prior visit than critics, Orlando culinary
critics rely more on travel agency and people from Orlando than fans, and Orlando culinary
fans rely more on newspapers/magazines/travel books than critics.
OLS regression analyses were run to identify factors explaining future visit likelihood
for culinary fans and culinary critics of both destinations by using destination image
attributes as the independent variables. As can be seen from the results summarized in
Table VI, for Orlando culinary fans, overall fun and excitement (
ß
50.091) and shopping
opportunities (
ß
50.211) explained 20 percent of variance in likelihood to visit. For Orlando
critics, overall fun and excitement (
ß
50.240), cultural/heritage attractions (
ß
50.149), local
cuisine (
ß
50.131), and overall image (
ß
50.270) explained 30 percent of variance in
likelihood to visit, with a negative influence of local cuisine. For Florida culinary fans, only
overall image (
ß
50.406) explained 27 percent of variance in likelihood to visit. For Florida
culinary critics, themed products (
ß
50.230) and overall image (
ß
50.341) explained 33
percent of variance in likelihood to visit, with a negative influence of themed products.
Destination image
attributes* (
χ
)
Orlando Florida
Culinary
fans
(n5224)
Culinary
critics
(n5256)
Culinary
fans
(n5187)
Culinary
critics
(n5122)
t-test and chi square
test significance
Overall fun and
excitement
6.50 4.71 6.47 4.23 Orlando 50.000
Florida 50.000
Scenic beauty 6.08 3.73 6.64 4.73 Orlando 50.000
Florida 50.000
Beaches/water
resources
5.83 4.14 6.76 5.25 Orlando 50.000
Florida 50.000
Information
resources for tourists
6.38 4.77 6.25 4.22 Orlando 50.000
Florida 50.000
Cultural/heritage
attractions
5.58 2.86 5.85 3.15 Orlando 50.000
Florida 50.000
Outdoor activities 6.57 4.59 6.51 4.61 Orlando 50.000
Florida 50.000
Climate/Weather
conditions
6.46 4.65 5.95 4.39 Orlando 50.000
Florida 50.000
Localshospitable
attitude
6.23 3.50 5.79 3.60 Orlando 50.000
Florida 50.000
Uniqueness of
culture/customs
5.70 2.80 5.82 3.14 Orlando 50.000
Florida 50.000
Shopping
opportunities
6.56 4.28 6.11 3.77 Orlando 50.000
Florida 50.000
Nightlife and
entertainment
opportunities
6.60 4.38 6.37 4.10 Orlando 50.000
Florida 50.000
Events and activities
for tourists
6.71 4.89 6.34 4.34 Orlando 50.000
Florida 50.000
Themed products
(e.g. theme hotels,
theme parks)
6.75 5.87 6.40 4.93 Orlando 50.000
Florida 50.000
Overall image 6.52 4.44 6.38 4.18 Orlando 50.000
Florida 50.000
Note(s):*15Extremely Poor, 75Excellent
Table IV.
Comparison of culinary
fans and culinary
critics of Orlando and
Florida on destination
image attributes
Culinary fans
vs culinary
critics
5. Discussion and implications
5.1 Discussion
This study extends the literature and provides further understanding about culinary tourists
by differentiating between culinary fans and culinary critics of two popular tourist
destinations in the United States, Orlando and Florida. Study results show that both Orlando
and Florida have relatively positive images, with ratings above the middle point (4) on the 7-
point scale. Theme parks, beaches, water attractions, events and activities, outdoor activities,
and scenic beauty constitute the competitive edge for these destinations but they are not as
strong on the culture and heritage front. More specifically, localshospitable attitude,
uniqueness of culture/customs, cultural/heritage attractions, and local cuisine are not as
strong as expected for such popular destinations. When asked what comes to mind when they
think of Orlando and Florida, only 24 of the Florida respondents (less than 1.4 percent of total
Florida respondents) and just three of the Orlando respondents (a little over 0.1 percent of
total Orlando respondents) mentioned food. Of these responses, Cuban food, seafood, high-
quality food, variety of food, Miami food scene, and food delicacies were some of the specific
answers.
Orlando attracts tourists with theme parks, attractions, events, and vacation rentals
(VisitOrlando, 2019). However, even with extensive dining and nightlife districts, recognized
chefs and local legends, global cuisines, and many of farm-to-table opportunities
(VisitOrlando, 2019) as well as a major food and wine festival, Orlando does not have a
gastronomic trademark for culinary fans. Similarly, as noted in Florida Department of
Agriculture and Consumer Services (2017,2019a,b), Florida has extensive dining and
nightlife, wineries with tasting rooms open to the public, and extensive farming resources
within the state. However, the results of the current study reveal that neither Florida nor
Orlando has a strong gastronomic appeal of authentic food experiences to attract culinary
tourists.
Information
sources * (
χ
)
Orlando Florida
Culinary
fans
(n5224)
Culinary
critics
(n5256)
Culinary
fans
(n5187)
Culinary
critics
(n5122)
t-test and chi square
test significance
Please order the information sources in helping you form an image of Orlando/Florida
Prior visit 2.89 3.38 2.50 4.02 Orlando 50.079
Florida 50.000
General knowledge
from school
5.98 5.45 5.48 4.90 Orlando 50.019
Florida 50.027
Movies or TV
shows
5.35 4.89 5.27 4.58 Orlando 50.029
Florida 50.010
Travel agency 5.97 6.61 6.74 6.79 Orlando 50.002
Florida 50.829
People from
Orlando
5.44 5.72 6.33 6.23 Orlando 50.018
Florida 50.713
Friends and
relatives
4.08 4.31 3.51 3.88 Orlando 50.262
Florida 50.155
Newspapers /
magazines / travel
books
5.81 5.50 5.72 5.78 Orlando 50.023
Florida 50.803
Internet 3.86 3.61 3.81 3.67 Orlando 50.238
Florida 50.602
Social media 5.63 5.54 5.65 5.15 Orlando 50.655
Florida 50.055
Note(s):*15Most Influential, 9 5Least Influential
Table V.
Comparison of culinary
fans and culinary
critics of Orlando and
Florida on importance
of information sources
in forming
destination image
IHR
Nonetheless, there are significant differences between culinary fans and culinary critics of the
cuisine of these destinations. Culinary fans of both destinations are more likely to be visitors
with a higher number of past trips, who are more satisfied with their past trips, and who have
a higher likelihood of visiting again than culinary critics. Culinary fans also have a better
overall image of both destinations and put more importance on all reasons to visit them for
their next vacation. For both culinary fans and critics, however, there were no differences in
the top three information sources for forming the destination image of both Orlando and
Florida, which were prior visit, Internet, and friends and relatives.
5.2 Theoretical implications
The current study is believed to be the first to compare culinary fans and culinary critics,
thereby extending the literature and demonstrating that there are several differences between
the two groups, as discussed above. The study also extends the literature on the characteristics
of culinary tourists, especially the work of Kline et al. (2018), who found multiple types of foodie
tourists with varying social demographics. While Florida culinary fans were found to be
significantly older than critics, supporting the findings of Noseworthy et al. (2005) and Ignatov
and Smith (2006), interestingly, culinary critics in both groups were found to be less educated
than fans, running contrary to the findings of these same authors. Furthermore, the current
study found culinary fans to be dominated by females, and more likely than critics to be
visitors (rather than non-visitors). The latter finding supports the destination image
literature, which finds image to be more realistic after visitation (Tasci, 2006).
The Internet was found to be the most important information source after prior visit,
corroborating the findings of Tasci et al. (2018). Culinary fans of both destinations also
Orlando Florida
Fans Critics Fans Critics
Model fit:
R
2
50.205
Adj. R
2
50.152
G53.848
α
50.000
Model fit:
R
2
50.301
Adj. R
2
50.258
G56.897
α
50.000
Model fit:
R
2
50.265
Adj. R
2
50.205
G54.431
α
50.000
Model fit:
R
2
50.333
Adj. R
2
50.238
G53.525
α
50.000
ß
α
ß
α
ß
α
ß
α
(Constant) 0.309 0.690 0.908 0.437 0.375
Overall fun and excitement 0.091 0.001* 0.240 0.002* 0.116 0.270 0.172 0.198
Scenic beauty 0.041 0.352 0.051 0.480 0.005 0.952 0.111 0.288
Beaches/water resources 0.066 0.631 0.119 0.072 0.112 0.179 0.015 0.894
Information resources for tourists 0.018 0.397 0.054 0.417 0.080 0.373 0.124 0.326
Cultural/heritage attractions 0.075 0.851 0.149 0.029* 0.062 0.525 0.171 0.083
Outdoor activities 0.135 0.321 0.112 0.110 0.177 0.066 0.063 0.596
Climate/Weather conditions 0.309 0.075 0.106 0.097 0.004 0.963 0.003 0.977
Local cuisine** ––0.131 0.035* ––0.093 0.384
Localshospitable attitude 0.016 0.863 0.005 0.944 0.014 0.887 0.061 0.533
Uniqueness of culture/customs 0.120 0.223 0.032 0.642 0.141 0.105 0.138 0.173
Shopping opportunities 0.211 0.037* 0.031 0.658 0.186 0.054 0.001 0.989
Nightlife and entertainment
opportunities
0.170 0.057 0.043 0.559 0.090 0.295 0.082 0.460
Events and activities for tourists 0.027 0.773 0.156 0.050 0.112 0.331 0.167 0.235
Themed products (e.g. theme hotels,
theme parks)
0.032 0.715 0.015 0.834 0.003 0.973 0.230 0.048*
Overall image 0.069 0.454 0.274 0.002* 0.406 0.000* 0.341 0.010*
Note(s): *Significantly influential in explaining likelihood to visit; **local cuisine is not used in Fans group
because the value is constant (7)
Table VI.
Results of regression
model test with
likelihood to visitas
the dependent variable
for culinary fans and
culinary critics of
Orlando and Florida
Culinary fans
vs culinary
critics
showed higher emotion-based decision-making traits, which differs from the those of sports
tourists, who were found by Tasci et al. (2018) to have higher logic-based decision-making
traits. This finding shows that different types of tourists differ in their decision-making
processes. Culinary fans were further found to be more satisfied with their visits and were
more likely to revisit, rated all image attributes and the overall destination image more highly,
relied more on general knowledge from school, movies or television in choosing the
destination, and rated all reasons for choosing the destination for their next vacation more
highly than culinary critics.
Sengel et al. (2015) noted that the effect of local cuisine on the visitor experience is often
neglected in tourist destination studies, a gap that this study helps to begin to fill. The current
study also extends the destination studies literature by showing that there is a significant
relationship between perceptions of a destinations cuisine and various elements of the visitor
experience, such as destination image, satisfaction, number of past trips, and revisit
intentions. This build on Hjalager and Richards(2002) work on the use of food to effectively
promote and position a destination, and on the findings of Stone et al. (2019), who found that
food-based activities significantly impact visitorslevels of satisfaction, return intentions,
and positive word of mouth. In addition to these theoretical implications there are also a
number of practical implications, particularly relevant to destination marketers.
5.3 Practical implications
The results of this study provide implication for destination marketers in general and for
those of Orlando and Florida in particular. Although Orlando and Florida have already been
rated two of the worlds top travel destinations (Orlando Economic Partnership, 2019;State of
Florida, 2019), the tourism industry should focus on the culinary image of the region to
increase impressions of the destination. Active experiences such as street foods, food trucks,
and gastronomic tours may promote culinary tourism while feeding and entertaining visitors.
For this purpose, eased regulations for small businesses and funding programs to preserve
and publicize food and beverage traditions, as well as tax reduction policies for small
businesses, may be instrumental. The promotion of food and wine festivals should be more
prominent and the many culinary neighborhoodsof the state, especially in major urban
areas [such as Park Avenue in Winter Park and West Sand Lake Road (known as Restaurant
Row) in Orlando, Wynwood and Little Havana in Miami, and SoHo in Tampa] should be
actively marketed to show that there is more to Florida and Orlando than the typical
perceptions of sun, sea, sand and theme parks. As an important component of culinary
tourism (UNWTO, 2016), wine tourism should also be added to the promotion of Floridas
culinary offerings, especially given the extensive health benefits of FloridasMuscadine
wines (Alonso, 2014) that should be effectively communicated to visitors.
The culinary industry and DMOs need to engage in promoting Orlando and Florida,
particularly to older, highly educated, females and to past visitors, shown to be their
strongest culinary fans. A strong culinary brand should be created to attract culinary tourists
by promoting traditional products and dishes (such as Florida stone crab claws, key lime pie,
alligator tail, and conch fritters) in order to develop a unique food image as an integral part of
Floridas cultural identity. This can also serve to increase visitorsperceptions of the
uniqueness of Floridas culture and customs. An interesting finding of this study is that
culinary fans tend to be emotion-based decision-makers, thus their decisions are more likely
to be based on gut-feelrather than rationality and logic. DMOs must therefore address the
emotional side of visiting a destination in their promotional materials and marketing strategy
in order to attract these visitors. For both culinary fans and critics, the most important
information source for forming destination image is Internet, besides prior visits and word of
mouth. DMOs and the tourism industry stakeholders should, therefore, use their websites
IHR
strategically in order to promote culinary tourism, especially in influencing those who have
not previously visited the state.
In so doing, it will be possible to make cuisine a core rather than peripheral tourism
product for these destinations, addressing culinary fans and wooing culinary critics, thereby
giving visitors an additional reason to visit and attracting an additional market segment, i.e.
culinary tourists.
6. Limitations and future research
This study was designed to identify potential factors that explain visitorstendency to
promote or criticize the cuisine of a destination by comparing culinary fans and critics
according to sociodemographic, personality and behavioral differences. Although this study
provides significant implications, it is not free from limitations. First, the study only
encompassed two destinations and, although they are marketed separately and perceived
differently, there may be overlap between Orlando visitors and Florida visitors. Second,
culinary fans and culinary critics may have different demographic and psychographic
characteristics in other geographic areas, especially more food-centricdestinations. Future
studies should, therefore, look at a greater number of distinct and geographically diverse
destinations, as well as destinations more noted for their culinary culture or specific style of
cuisine, to test the generalizability of the current studys findings.
Furthermore, the results may signal different implications. Culinary fans may have such a
positive attitude based on their positive experiences, or they may have such a positive
attitude because of their inherent positive predispositions. It is also not known whether they
are fans of the cuisine due to their fandom of the destination, or vice versa. A more in-depth
analysis with qualitative techniques to pinpoint the underlying reasons is therefore
warranted. As culinary fans are more likely to be visitors than are culinary critics, it would be
interesting to know how much their experience of the cuisine might have changed their
opinion about the cuisine and what specific aspects of the cuisine (i.e. types of food or specific
dishes) caused them to be fans. This would be helpful to DMOs in marketing the destinations
to potential culinary tourists.
Lastly, although findings revealed differences between culinary fans and culinary critics
of Orlando and Florida, several factors are still unknown. The current study identified
fandom using an indirect method by grouping respondents as culinary fans and culinary
critics based on their image rating of local cuisine. A direct method whereby respondents
state whether they are a fan or a critic of the cuisine of a destination may reveal different
results. In addition, the study was conducted utilizing an online platform where respondents
provided answers based on their recollections of past experiences. An onsite survey with
current visitors may reveal more accurate and precise results and account for memory bias.
Thus, this study paves the way for further exploration in this increasingly popular area of
tourism, i.e. culinary tourism.
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Corresponding author
Robin M. Back can be contacted at: Robin.Back@ucf.edu
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