- Our friends at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) recently shared with us their paper on gastro-tourism and its positive effects on a person's well-being. Below you'll find an overview of key takeaways.
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Gastro-tourism well-being: the interplays of salient and enduring determinants,
Muhammet Kesgin, Irfan Önal, Ihsan Kazkondu, Muzaffer Uysal
The pursuit of great food is not a new leisurely activity. Defined as activities that may encompass visits to food-themed events and festivals, primary and secondary producers, and destinations, gastro-tourism is motivated by a desire for food tasting during travels. In recent years there has been a heightened interest in both the production and consumption of gastro-tourism experiences within the tourism and hospitality industry. According to U.S. Travel (2019), one-fourth of tourist expenditures go toward food experiences, with 53% of all leisure tourists being food travelers.
Research has documented the influence of gastro-tourism consumption on providing special experiences and even contributing to one's quality of life, wellbeing, and life satisfaction. However, the nature of one's consumption experience may vary depending on the person's goals, context, and situation. This study examines how food-related lifestyles influence the enjoyment of gastro-tourism consumption (deliberate versus incidental), and how gastro-tourism consumption enjoyment influences life satisfaction. For the first time, this research integrates food-related leisure and leisure attitudes into the well-known gastro-tourism wellbeing model.
The research gathered data from 617 tourists based on their deliberate and incidental gastro-tourism experiences through a quantitative survey. Below are the key results found:
- Results showed a strong influence of food-related lifestyle on leisure attitude, and the research is the first to demonstrate a significant impact of food on attitude toward gastro-tourism as a leisure pursuit. This finding suggests that tourists view food as a means of maintaining basic life values.
- The study also found an important contribution by linking gastro-tourism consumption to life satisfaction. The study identifies the positive outcomes of gastro-tourism enjoyment on various life domains, namely social life, leisure and recreation life, family life, arts and culture, intellectual life, culinary life, and travel life.
- One particularly interesting finding is that satisfaction with consumption experiences contributes to life satisfaction regardless of the experience type. Results indicate no moderating effect of deliberate versus incidental gastro-tourism experiences on the relationship between satisfaction and life satisfaction.
Taken together, these findings have important implications for developing the nature and extent of the links between gastronomy-based tourist experiences and life satisfaction.
Kesgin, M., Önal, İ., Kazkondu, İ. and Uysal, M. (2022), "Gastro-tourism well-being: the interplays of salient and enduring determinants", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.