Role of Gastronomy in Tourism Development

Subject: Tourism
Pages: 13
Words: 3616
Reading time:
15 min
Study level: Undergraduate

The literature review reveals the link between the research question and its objectives. The dissertation aims to address the following objectives:

  1. To explore the regional strategy to attract tourists;
  2. To profile the type of tourist who travel for Gastronomy;
  3. To identify the importance of the local suppliers as economy is concerned.

In establishing the link between the research objectives and the research question, the literature review brings out the essence of the study to the field of tourism. Gastronomy provides tourists with the senses of touch, sight, and smell of existing food products, processors, and restaurants in Catalonia, Spain. Kivela (2006) in his analysis argues that gastronomy is the art of cooking and good eating. However, Arnott (1975) defines gastronomy as the study of the relationship between food and culture. This implies that cooking and eating form a significant discipline within gastronomy. Since customers believe that a great taste of food and drink provides the best choice of a destination in current tourism, gastronomy is slowly developing into a lucrative segment of tourism (Buhalis & Costa 2006). In the current world, many analyses on the historic and chronological development of tourism have been limited to the observation of a single life cycle identified with the mass tourism stage. This paper seeks to understand the practicality of the literature reviews in the area of gastronomy and its connection with tourism, as well as the aspects of food and culture. Numerous studies provide a basis for proper evaluation of areas of success and areas that need improvement to ensure success of the lucrative gastronomic sector. Catalonia serves as the case study for this paper. In the process of analysis, the paper seeks to understand the basis on how a combination of theories in gastronomy works magic for this town to act as a major tourist hub in Europe (OECD Territorial Reviews: Teruel, Spain 2001, 2001). Development of public administration in the tourism sector continues to adapt to new trends and demands of the market, especially in Europe. In Spain, for example, this has created remarkable and successful changes responsible for the emergence of new progressive tourism dynamics (Robinson, Heitmann, & Dieke, 2011). In Catalonia, gastronomy acts as the best dynamics; it draws customers across the world.

In only 3 hours we’ll deliver a custom Role of Gastronomy in Tourism Development essay written 100% from scratch Learn more

Apart from enjoying the scenic beauties and historical sites, tourism offers an avenue for the tourists to understand and interact with the different cultures of the regions that they visit (Bober, 1999). Different cultures cherish and prepare different kinds of food; this had developed a marketing system for different food varieties in Catalonia. Chen (2005) in his analysis of the advances in hospitality and leisure puts forward the argument that marketing the culture and local foods types available in the regions provides the best advertisement sites for the region’s tourism endowment. This coupled with the local governments’ desire for economic growth through the tourism sector creates a favourable environment for tourist attraction. With the Spanish government taking a leading role in the management of local tourism institutions, there exists an increasing diversification in the tourism sector; this ensures that tourists diversify from the conventional sun beaches as the only attraction site (Lee, 2012).

Drivers of Gastronomy

Hall and Gossling (2013) argue that with increasing competition between the tourist destinations across the world, the local cultures slowly come into the picture of playing an integral role in attracting more tourists (Gallagher, 2012). The conventional natural tourist attraction sites have become relatively less attractive as more tourists become interested in interactive and educational tourism. Despite the fact that food plays a vital role in tourist attractions, gastronomy, in itself, continues to gain ground as an independent attraction to the international tourists. Gastronomy helps tourist to identify and interact with different tippers of cuisine that they encounter in their visits. As a result, food and the cooking culture of different regions of the world offer a great avenue for cultural and gastronomic tourism (Hall & Weilard, 2000).

Development of food attraction cities and regions greatly influence the choices of tourists across the world. The traditional tourism style of visiting places for recreations is slowly paving way for increased educational holidays and vacations (Goodall, McAvoy, & Hudson, 2005). Most tourists in the world slowly engage in the gastronomic sector in order to learn and enjoy different cooking styles and cultures in the world. Most food counters provide ready services for the customers (Allemang, 1999). However, customers continuously weigh the value received from such food outlets other than the meal. For this reason, many restaurants have slowly embarked on the art of presenting enjoyable drinking and eating services to customers. In these contexts, customers do not only have a meal, but also get the opportunity of interacting with the food processors to learn the creativity applied in the production of the meals they consume (Hjalager & Richards, 2002).

In history books, gastronomy began as a creation of classical recipes through individual innovations in food outlets around the tourist sites. These innovations developed gradually into institutional food outlets from which tourists could learn the culture and art of cooking in a specific region. However, as the tourism base expanded and the need to maintain the tourism base increased, food and cultural cooking evolved into a tourist attraction phenomenon (Buhalis & Costa 2006). The formation of innovative and classical recipes with cultural ingredients provided a base for development of gastronomy. The institutions engaged in the provision of tourism services developed ways of engaging tourists to ensure that they remained attracted to the region. Educational versions of gastronomy set in many regions as tourists’ desire to learn varied cooking cultures increased (Cousminer, 1999).

In the work of Cheng et al. (2011), the concept of blending cooking arts and foods science for the benefit of tourists began in 1996 through the Research Chefs Association in the US. This concept led to the integration of food science and cooking principles to ensure that the tourists in the country got classical tastes of the cooking culture in the region. Despite the fact that it aimed at servicing the restaurants in the country, the concept increased the provision of quality food in the tourism sector (Bertacchini, 2012). The involvement of science and art in food production process enhanced safety of foods from farm inputs to presentation on the table for consumptions. The resulting outputs from these concepts were healthy and profitable meals, especially in the restaurants that dealt with tourists (Hargaty, 2005).

According to Fuad-Luke (2008), each day presents new forecasts on opportunities for traveling in the tourism sector, as the dynamism of innovation required for successful maintenance of the number of tourists remain paramount. Data from the United Nations World Tourism Organization indicates that international tourism visits have been increasing annually by 6.5% since 1950. This translates to 806 million visitors across the tourism sites in 2005 (Global Report on Food Tourism, 2012). This rising number of visitors necessitated the need to split down the different facets of tourism to maximise the earnings received. Leisure tourism and business tourism are slowly taking centre-stage with food tourism gaining ground as an important segment of leisure tourism. The development of gastronomy continues to present the most creative, dynamic, and viable micro-sector in the tourism industry. Since gastronomic tourism creates close links and ties between the destinations, local communities, tourisms companies and organizations, as well as the tour operators. Local foods diversify tourism through presentation of real impression of the offerings to tourists. On the same note, gastronomy stimulates local and national development through the earnings received from the sector (Cook, 2013).

Academic experts
We will write a custom Tourism essay specifically for you for only $16.00 $11/page Learn more

Several food and beverage supply lines continue to emerge across the globe to harness the lucrative gastronomic sector. In Australia, for example, the Butcher and Baker Winemaker chains combine the trail of all the regions in Southern Australia (Hegarty, 2005). These particular trails provide services for tourists, hence making them to derive main satisfaction from the wine industry. The trail provides adequate information on the benefits and all relevant necessities in the wine sector for tourists (Sooby, 2004). Similarly, the chains provide adequate information on the available and convenient food routes for tourists. This offers tourists with opportunities to choose on the best walking, resting, and dining out trails during their visits. The resulting gains from such development are the productivity of gastronomy as well as marketing of the regional cuisine of Australia in the international arena (Katz & Weaver, 2003).

Olive oil products present the best asset for gastronomic tourism in Croatia. The country advertises its endowments through interactive websites from which tourists enjoy the pleasure of downloading all information on accommodations, dine-out sites, and maps of major regions known for olive tourism (Hegarty, 2004). Visiting tourists enjoy the chance of gaining adequate knowledge in olive harvesting and processing as well as revel in the dishes with olive additives (Charters, 2006). In Italy, the situation is similar to the Mediterranean cuisine; this provides a favourable attraction site for wine lovers across the globe. Tourists get the opportunity to learn the processes involved in wine production as well as enjoy the consumption cultures of the Italians (Corigliano, 2002).

Dynamics in Gastronomy

The rapid development of the phenomenon draws influence from the rising need for diversification and innovation towards better tourism facilities (LaRosa, 2012). Development of gastronomy took a shift of target in mid-twentieth century due to the rising needs for economic developments. Currently, it employs a great number of guises, and exists in varied settings across the world as many regions seek to master the art of attracting many tourists (Stolarick, 2010). According to Scarpato (2002), evolution of this concept continues to draw mixed reactions and definitions as most scholars find it difficult to detach cultural practices on food preparation and presentation from the concept.

In the evolution process, the everlasting relation that seems to exist is the relationship between food and the tourism industry. This phenomenon is continuously gaining ground in many segments of the tourism sector across different societies (Everett, & Aitchison, 2008). In the conventional tourism sector, the attraction sites provided the best visit sites across the world. However, with the desire for more exciting tourism activities, diversification of the sector, seasonal adjustments, and diversion from the contemporary attraction sites provide the best remedy for attracting many tourists. These changes in the tourism sector create experiences that engage tourists, thus enhancing satisfaction (Yue, 2013).

Developments in the tourism sector continue to undergo tremendous modifications. Several literatures on the importance of different tourism sectors to the economy are in existence. Even though gastronomy has been gaining grounds across many economies, only a few countries seem to master the significance of this segment (Harvey & White, 2014). Many countries remained adamant in exploiting the potential of gastronomic tourism until early last decade when an international conference on the importance of gastronomy took place. The relationship between tourism products and destinations proved symbiotic in this conference since the destination provided food, recipes and the entire production systems as well as the cultural tastes, thus making gastronomy an entire product for consumption for tourists (Hjalager & Antonioli, 2000). Since a meal involves a great a ray of choices from the menus as per an individual customer, the social settings of preparation provide an avenue for social interaction between the manners and traditions of the two cultures involved in the process (Ravenscroft & Westering, 2001). For this reason, it is vital for the drivers of gastronomic tourism to develop proper ways of ensuring participation among individual members of the sector to ensure proper ad effective implementation of various strategies developed for successful marketing of the sector.

Gastronomy as a Tourism Resource

In many cases, the ability to detach the resourcefulness of gastronomy to the tourism sector becomes difficult. However, the quantity and quality of products that arise from gastronomy as an entity in the sector are evident. The most vital evidence on the resourcefulness of the gastronomy to the tourism sector is the ability to serve customers in Catalonia throughout the year (Mair, 2012). In conventional tourism, weather plays imperative roles. For example, some attraction sites such as mountains may be accessible only during particular times of the year. For this reason, tourists willing to visit such places must get into the time-frames of such visit times. This in many cases results in congestion of such areas, thus leading to poor service provisions. However, with gastronomy, food and culture exists all the times of the year. The flexibility of tourists’ visits lies solely with the tourists as the culture and types of food remain available throughout the year (Fisher, 2012).

Consumer shows for presentation of food products and cooking equipment are some of the events that results from gastronomy (Sparks, 2008). These events present an ample environment for food and wine festivals, hence leading to extremely interactive segments between tourists and the local populace (McKercher, 2005). Several organizations with interests in the provision of food and cultural information develop in areas with highly developed gastronomic tourism. In Catalonia, for example, slow foods, cooking clubs and other cultural food associations remain evident because of the developed gastronomy business sector. The local government of Catalonia, Generalitat, promotes tourism products on the local food resources through agencies such as Catalan Tourist Boards, Consortium of Trade, Handicrafts and Fashion of Catalonia, and the Gastronomic Club (Sims, 2010). Aside from enjoying the scenic beauties and historical sites, tourism offers an avenue for the tourists to understand and interact with the different cultures of the regions that they visit. Different cultures cherish and prepare different kinds of food; this had developed a marketing system for different food varieties in Catalonia. Chen (2005) in his analysis of the advances in hospitality and leisure puts forward the argument that marketing the culture and local foods types available in the regions provides the best advertisement sites for the region’s tourism endowment. This coupled with the Spanish governments’ desire for economic growth through the tourism sector creates a constructive environment for tourist attraction. With the Spanish government taking a leading role in the management of local tourism institutions, there exists an increasing diversification in the tourism sector; this ensures that tourists diversify from the conventional sun beaches as the only attraction site (Lee, 2012).

15% OFF Get your very first custom-written academic paper with 15% off Get discount

Gastronomic Strategies in Catalonia

Medina (2005) in his work believes that several development programs that enhance gastronomy include the promotion of local products to the global markets. Such promotions aim at spurring the regional development from the economic perspective as well as developing an internationally recognised hub of attraction. Since the basic need for development of gastronomy in Catalonia revolves around the desire for economic empowerment of the local people, the development strategies developed by the local government agencies aim at maximising profits and economic benefits for the locals (Fisher & Lazar, 2013). Given the fact that gastronomic tourism derives its basics from the food production segments, it is vital to ensure that the strategies developed by the agencies take into account the primary sources of the foods that attract tourists. In this circumstance, the plights of the local farmers play an integral role in the development of gastronomic strategies in Catalonia.

In 2003, the Generalitat, through the Catalan Tourist Board formed the Gastronomic Club as a stratagem to assist in advertising gastronomic tourism potentials not only to the Spanish population, but also to the entire world. The board charged this club with the responsibility of creating a viable collaboration among different actors in the gastronomic sector. Gastronomic Club regulated the participation of players in the industry such as companies, organizations, and bodies engaged in the tourism sector through the development of uniform strategies to market tourism products in Catalonia (Vega, 2012). It is in this club that different players subscribe a membership fee responsible for marketing and development of such strategies. Consolidation of the strategies of success coupled with a regulated system of product promotion creates an avenue for proper marketing of a region in a better perspective compared to the traditional marketing strategies in which individual site management institutions engage in marketing of such entities.

With the development of the club, the sector of gastronomy remained vibrant, hence earning the region several billions of dollars. However, the dynamism of the tourism sector requires frequents innovations to ensure maximum earnings. It is for this reason that the government of Catalonia created Gastoteca in 2007 to improve service delivery in the gastronomic sector (Getz, 2013). This strategy brought in place an online interactive segment in which tourists could enjoy a platform of sharing information about the products and services of the region in the gastronomic sector. Gastroteca has a website with promotional and marketing information about the food products available in Catalonia. This approach or stratagem provides a responsive and a two-way communication channel through which different players working in the gastronomic segment can interrelate effortlessly, and get information about the available foodstuffs.

International food fairs are another strategy developed by the drivers of the gastronomic sector to market and enhance earnings from the sector. Alimentaria Barcelona Food Fair, which takes place after every two years, is one of the most outstanding trade fairs developed to market gastronomy in Catalonia (Chen, 2005). This event draws attendance from more than one hundred and fifty thousand visitors; it plays an integral role in enhancing interaction among different professionals in the gastronomic sector. Barcelona Degusta is another food show that provides the public with the opportunity to taste, purchase, and learn about food and the culture of the Catalonia region. All these marketing strategies draw audience from the entire globe, thus resulting in influx of tourists in the region, which translates further to increased economic earnings.

The organization of the culinary seasons to match the season of the year plays an important function in ensuring that tourists visit Catalonia every time of the year. These coupled with the food festivals spread throughout the year, offer interesting attractions to tourists. For example, in autumn, mushroom shows with edible types of products on displays (Barham, 2010); in the times of winter, calcotades and xatonades increase in supply; spring season brings in the fruits seasons with strawberries and cherries in larger quantities and the summer seasons provide reaping and threshing festivals by the seas. The distribution of these programs across the entire year ensures that the number of tourists visiting Catalonia remains constant throughout the year, thereby creating stability in earnings.

Importance of Gastronomy to the Economy

The vital aspects of gastronomy as presented in the early nineties relied on the intangible heritage presented to the tourism sector. The ability of gastronomy to attract more tourists played a key role evaluating its roles in the economic development of a region (Chen, 2005). In their work on the frameworks upon which gastronomy exists, Roberts and Hall (2001), describe the importance of food cultures as the attraction of tourists that translates further to high income from the tourism sector. They went further to analyse the contexts in which food and tourism industries interrelate with the main outcome geared towards sustainable economic earnings.

Products and services of gastronomic tourism reach tourists through different channels of distribution in the food markets, restaurants, gastronomic routes, and various food festivals organised in the regions of attraction (Smith & Xiao, 2008). Most scholarly articles indicate that food and cooking culture significantly influence the destination choices of tourists (Hjalaguer & Richard, 2002). This provides an avenue to conclude that gastronomy provides the best alternative for the new destinations, thus reducing congestions in the traditional sun and beach tourist attraction sites (Molloy, 1999).

Get your customised and 100% plagiarism-free paper on any subject done for only $16.00 $11/page Let us help you

Individuals involved in the key fabrication and dispensation of the lowly ranked foodstuffs enjoy numerous benefits from the sector; their involvement in the process results in elimination of intermediaries in the production process (Poole, 1999). This implies that their products move directly from production to consumption, hence cutting the costs involved in the distribution channels. High rates of return from the sales coupled with the subsidised transport offered from the institutions ensure that producers earn high incomes from gastronomy (Sidali, 2011). Agri-food retailers also benefit from gastronomy; the close links that these groups enjoy with the primary producers and the food processing entities ensure that sales of the products remain high. Specialisation of the agri-food retailers in different sectors of food outputs ensures that the consumers get the best value of the food choices they select (Armesto & Gómez, 2006). Agri-food retailers also use information channels to reach consumers in order to create an ample avenue for more interactions in gastronomy. Catalonia remains a gastronomic power; its geographical and climatic diversity, as well as the sea shores, hills, and river deltas give it numerous privileges in terms of variety in food supply. Its agri-food industry benefits from these different geographical features by producing quality products.

Managers of restaurants engaged in gastronomy also benefit from the industry. The ability of the restaurants to develop innovative techniques in food preparation and presentation plays a significant task in the sustainability of gastronomy (Kivela, 2006). The restaurants also offer markets to the primary producers of the agricultural food products; they enhance the economies of local producers. Private institutions, government agencies, and organizations involved in the management of gastronomy earn a lot of revenue from the sector. Travel agents, tour guide companies and other agencies play vital roles in marketing of local gastronomy sites, and earn high income from the services that they offer the visiting tourists (Taylor, 2013). From the research on importance of gastronomy in tourism development, it is evident that the sector is experiencing mass revolution from the usual attraction sites to the love for cultures and food products in different locations.


Allemang, J. (1999). The Importance of Lunch: And Other Real-Life Adventures in Good Eating. Toronto: Random House of Canada.

Armesto, X. & Gómez, B. (2006). Tourism and Quality Agro-Food Products: An Opportunity for the Spanish Countryside. Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, 97(2), 166-177

Arnott, M. L. (1975). Gastronomy: The Anthropology of Food and Food Habits. The Hague: Mouton.

Barham, P. (2010). Molecular Gastronomy: A New Emerging Scientific Discipline. Chemical Reviews, 110(4), 2313-2365. Web.

Bertacchini, E. E. (2012). Cultural Commons: A New Perspective on the Production and Evolution of Cultures. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Bober, P. P. (1999). Art, Culture, and Cuisine: Ancient and Medieval Gastronomy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Buhalis, D., & Costa, C. (2006). Tourism Business Frontiers Consumers, Products, and Industry. Amsterdam: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann.

Charters, S. (2006). Wine and Society the Social and Cultural Context of a Drink. Oxford: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann.

Chen, J. S. (2005). Advances in Hospitality and Leisure. Bingley, U.K.: Emerald Group Publishing.

Cheng, M., Ogbeide, G. A., & Hamouz, F.L. (2011). The Development of Culinary Arts and Food Science into a New Academic Discipline-Culinology. Journal of Culinary Science & Technology, 9(1), 17-26.

Cook, L. (2013). The Mushroom Hunters on the Trail of an Underground America. New York: Random House Publishing Group.

Corigliano, A. R. (2002). The Route to Quality: Italian Gastronomy Networks in Operation. Routledge, London.

Cousminer, J. (1999). Practicing Culinology. Web.

Everett, S., & Aitchison, C. (2008). The Role of Food Tourism in Sustaining Regional Identity: A Case Study of Cornwall, South West England. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 16(2), 150-167.

Fisher, M. F. (2012). The Physiology of Taste: Or, Meditations on Transcendental Gastronomy. New York: Heritage Press.

Fisher, M. F., & Lazar, D. (2013). Conversations with M.F.K. Fisher. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.

Fuad-Luke, A. (2008). The Eco-Travel Handbook. London. Thames & Hudson.

Gallagher, D. R. (2012). Environmental Leadership A Reference Handbook. Thousand Oaks, California.: SAGE Publications.

Getz, D. (2013). Event Studies. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.

Global Report on Food Tourism. (2012). Web.

Goodall, J., McAvoy, G., & Hudson, G. E. (2005). Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating. New York: Warner Pub.

Hall, C. M., & Gossling, S. (2013). Sustainable Culinary Systems Local Foods, Innovation, and Tourism and Hospitality. Abingdon: Routledge.

Hall, M.C. & Weilard, B. (2000). Special Interest Tourism. Wiley&Sons Australia.

Harvey, M., & White, L. (2014). Wine and Identity Branding, Heritage, Terroir. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.

Hegarty, J. (2004). Standing the Heat. New York: The Haworth Press.

Hegarty, J. (2005). Developing Subject Fields in Culinary Arts, Science, and Gastronomy. Journal of Culinary Science & Technology, 4(1), 5–13.

Hjalager, A & Antonioli, M. (2000). Food for Tourists – Determinants of an image – International Journal of Tourism research. London: John Wiley & Sons.

Hjalager, A., & Richards, G. (2002). Tourism and Gastronomy. London: Routledge.

Katz, S. H., & Weaver, W. W. (2003). Encyclopedia of Food and Culture. New York: Scribner.

Kivela, J. (2006). Tourism and Gastronomy: Gastronomy’s Influence on How Tourists Experience a Destination. Journal of Hospitality & Tourism research, 1, 354-377.

LaRosa, M. (2012). Colombia: A Concise Contemporary History. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Lee, T. (2011). Special Interest Tourism for Community Benefits. Bucharest: ASE Publishing House.

Mair, M. (2012). Culinary Tourism: Products, Regions, Tourists, Philosophy: Proceedings Of The European Culinary Tourism Conference 2011. Wein: Springer.

McKercher, B. (2005). Destinations as Products: A Reflection on Butler’s Life Cycle. Tourism Recreation Research, 30(4), 97-102.

Medina, F. X. (2005). Food Culture in Spain. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press.

Molloy, J. (1999). Tourism & Hospitality: Delighting the Senses. Canberra: Bureau of Tourism Research.

OECD Territorial Reviews: Teruel, Spain 2001. (2001). Paris: OECD Publishing.

Poole, G. (1999). Reel Meals, Set Meals: Food in Film and Theatre. Sydney: Currency Press.

Ravenscroft, N. & Westering, J.V. (2001). Wine Tourism, Culture, and the Everyday: A Theoretical Note. Tourism and Hospitality Research, 3(2), 149-162

Roberts, L., & Hall, D. R. (2001). Rural Tourism and Recreation: Principles to Practice. Wallingford, Oxon, UK: CABI Pub.

Robinson, P., Heitmann, S., & Dieke, P. U. (2011). Research themes for tourism. Wallingford, Oxfordshire: CABI.

Scarpato, R. (2002). Gastronomy as a Tourist Product: The Perspective of Gastronomy Studies. New York: Routledge.

Sidali, K. L. (2011). Food, Agri-Culture and Tourism: Linking Local Gastronomy and Rural Tourism: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Berlin: Springer.

Sims, R. (2010). Putting Place on the Menu: The Negotiation of Locality in UK Food Tourism, From Production to Consumption. Journal of rural Studies, 26(2),105-115

Smith, S. L. J., & Xiao, H. (2008). Culinary Tourism Supply Chains: A Preliminary Examination. Journal of Travel Research, 46(3), 289-299.

Sooby, J. (2004). Consuming Culture: The Arts of the French Table. London: Associated University Presses.

Sparks, B. (2008). Holidays and Wine Regions Survey. Gold Coast, Queensland: Sustainable Tourism CRC.

Stolarick, K. (2010). Creativity, Tourism and Economic Development in a Rural Context the Case of Prince Edward County. Toronto: Martin Prosperity Institute.

Taylor, S. (2013). Adventure tourism: meaning, experience, and learning. London: Routledge.

Vega, C. (2012). The Kitchen as Laboratory: Reflections on the Science of Food and Cooking. New York: Columbia University Press.

Yue, I. (2013). Scribes of Gastronomy Representations of Food and Drink in Imperial Chinese Literature. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, HKU.