Understanding of Gastronomy as a Tourism Product – Case Study Example

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The paper "Understanding of Gastronomy as a Tourism Product" is a good example of a case study on tourism. Drawing on two site visits at the Melbourne Farmers’ Market and the Yering Station, this report discusses the means by which gastronomy can be understood as a tourism product. Gastronomy is defined in this report as a multi-dimensional concept that encompasses different aspects that relate to human interaction with food. The findings of this report show that food is a key motivating factor of tourists’ travel. As a result, gastronomy can be considered as a tourism product mainly because it plays a critical role in adding value to the tourism value chain and enriching tourists’ experiences.

Moreover, it contributes to the creation and expression of symbolic cultural identities and values. Since culture is a major driver of tourism, it is apparent that gastronomy is a subset of cultural tourism. Thus on this basis gastronomy can be regarded as a tourism product in itself. Introduction Gastronomy is generally a multi-dimensional concept that encompasses different aspects that relate to human interaction with food (Gillespie & Cousins 2012).

It is normally regarded as the art and science of food. According to Symons (1999), gastronomy is a discipline that focuses on the development of knowledge about the preparation, consumption, and quality of different types of food and drinks. In essence, it touches on food science, cooking techniques, nutritional information, and any other aspect that pertains to human interaction with food (Gillespie & Cousins 2012; Symons 1999). Over the years, studies in gastronomy have found that knowledge or understanding of food and drinks contributes to the creation and expression of symbolic cultural identities and values.

Since each culture has its own unique types of foods, ways of preparing food, and consuming food, gastronomy has been found to be a key tool in the creation and transmission of cultural heritage (Bessiere 1998; Mint & Du Bois 2002). Since culture is a major driver of tourism, gastronomy is considered to be a subset of cultural tourism. It is on this basis that gastronomy is often regarded as a tourism product (Bessiere 1998). This report seeks to critically discuss the means by which gastronomy can be understood as a tourism product by drawing on personal site visit experiences at the Melbourne Farmers’ Market and the Yering Station.

Foremost, in reference to the social and cultural theories and the value chain theory, this report will discuss how gastronomy is a tourism product. Secondly, it will provide background information about the two sites visited. Subsequently, by drawing on these two site visits, this report will recount how these experiences have contributed to my understanding of gastronomy as a tourism product. Gastronomy as a Tourism Product The value chain theory is commonly used in tourism studies to analyze the overall needs of tourists during holiday seasons in order to effectively assess the implications that tourism has on a particular region (Desinano & Vigo 1994).

Nevertheless, Hjalager (2003) employs this theory to illustrate how gastronomy can be used to provide valuable products and services to tourists in order to increase their patronage. She notes that food forms a large part of the overall tourists’ experience thus value provided to tourists throughout the tourism sector can be increased by simply emphasizing the food element.

Gastronomy pays attention to both the tangible and intangible facets of food production and consumption. Its espousal in the mainstream tourism sector can play a critical role in adding value to the tourism value chain and enriching tourists’ experiences. Hjalager (2003) suggests that there are numerous ways in which gastronomy can be taken up as a value-adding and economically viable tourism product. Firstly, providing tourists with information on the basic processes of food production from the initial supply of raw materials to the presentation of food on the table adds value to the tourism value chain and enriches tourists’ experiences.

In this case, information or pictures of lively and colorful food sources or raw materials used in food production can be used to convince tourists that food offered in a particular destination is natural, plentiful, and of good quality. For example, travel brochures marked with lobsters and other seafood can be used in the promotion of coastal tourist destinations. Furthermore creating food fares and events or combining the sale of food with tourism events or activities can further add value to tourists and the tourism sector in general (Hjalager 2003).

References

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Desinano, P. & Vigo, C 1994, Developing information technology options in the hotel industry: the value chain approach, in A.V Seaton et al (eds). Tourism: The state of the Art, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester.

Gillespie, C & Cousins, J 2012, European Gastronomy into the 21st Century, Routledge, London.

Hjalager, A., 2003, ‘A Typology of Gastronomy Tourism’, in A. Hjalager & Richards, G. Tourism and Gastronomy, Routledge, London

Hegarty, A.J & O’mahony, B.G 1999, ‘Gastronomy: A Phenomenon of Cultural Expression and Aesthetic for Living, ‘Journal of Tourism Education vol. 11, issue 4, pp. 25-29

Jalis, H.M, Zahari, M.S.M, Izzat, M &Othman, Z. 2009,‘Western Tourists Perception of Gastronomic Products,’Asian Social Science vol. 5, no. 1.

Melbourne Farmers’ Market (MFM) 2014, About Us, viewed September 1, 2014,

Mintz, W.S & Du Bois, C.M. 2002, ‘The Anthropology of Food and Eating.’ Annual Review of Anthropology, vol. 31, pp. 99-119.

Munsters, W., 1994, Cultuurteorisme, Grant, Leuven.

Symons, M., 1999, 'Gastronomic authenticity and sense of place', in Proceedings of the Ninth Australian Tourism and Hospitality Education Conference, Adelaide: CAUTHE: 333-340

Richards, G., 2003, ‘Gastronomy: an essential ingredient in tourism production and consumption’ A. Hjalager & Richards, G. Tourism and Gastronomy, Routledge, London.

Yering Station, 2014, History and Heritage, viewed September 1, 2014,

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