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Title: Understanding travelers' experiences of gastronomy through etymology and narration
Authors: Kivela, J
Crotts, J
Keywords: Gastronomy
Dining-out experience
Hong Kong
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Source: Journal of hospitality and tourism research, 2009, v. 33, no. 2, p. 161-192 How to cite?
Journal: Journal of hospitality and tourism research 
Abstract: Gastronomy is an important attribute in the development of niche travel and niche destinations, and although related literature supports the view that there is a connection between tourism and gastronomy, little is known about culinary tourists, which prompt these following questions: Does a destination's gastronomy contribute to the quality of the travelers' experiences while they are visiting the destination? Is there a culinary travel market segment, and who are these travelers? Do travelers return to the destination to resample its culinary delights? Through examples from in-depth interviews with travelers, this article addresses how individual and group leisure travelers manifest socially constructed narratives about the destination's gastronomy and culinaria. Such expressions are carried out through consumption and experiences of food and of culture though food. It is argued that accounts and stories of the destination's gastronomy and culinaria work particularly well in individuals' efforts to "narrate experiences and feelings." The study's objective, therefore, is to identify areas of commonality in the way in which travelers perceived and experienced gastronomy while visiting a destination. Specifically, the study aimed to determine (a) whether the destination's gastronomy contributed to the quality of visitors' experience, (b) whether visitors would return to the destination because of its gastronomy, and (c) whether culinary travelers represent a distinct market segment of an overall visitor market. This is a follow-up qualitative study to Kivela and Crotts (2006), which was also undertaken in Hong Kong and Macau. Qualitative feedback from the study reaffirms that as a contemporary cultural resource, gastronomy satisfies all the conventional requirements of cultural tourism products. Evidence suggests that motivation to travel for gastronomy reasons is a valid construct for the purposes of market segmentation. Qualitative results of the interview analysis reveal that gastronomy plays a major role in the way that visitors experience a destination and indicate that some travelers would return to the same destination to savor its unique gastronomy.
ISSN: 1096-3480
EISSN: 1557-7554
DOI: 10.1177/1096348008329868
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