Conference paper
Tourism Development in Rural Areas – Success Factors for Growth with Support from Gastronomy?

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Author list: Schmudde, Ulrich
Publication year: 2019

Abstract

The significance of gastronomy for the tourism industry is nowadays a well-studied field. Previous research has shown that there are many destinations that have used gastronomy to strengthen regional or national tourism experiences. For instance, Wales in the United Kingdom (Jones and Jenkins, 2002), Australia (Cambourne and Macionis, 2003), the Niagara Region in Canada (Telfer and Hashimoto, 2003) and Singapore (Henderson, 2004) to mention a few examples. These examples show that gastronomy is directly or indirectly connected to the destinations since it inspires tourists to experience the local food of a region. Researchers have shown that gastronomy can also be used in marketing and in branding a region or a nation (Frochot, 2003; Boyne and Hall, 2004; du Rand and Heath, 2006; Hashimoto and Telfer, 2006; Fox, 2007; Lin, Pearson and Cai, 2011). Some studies have shown that tourists seek regional and ethnic gastronomy because of their desire to have unique experiences (Reynolds, 1993; Hall et al, 2003; Cohen and Avieli, 2004; Lin, Pearson and Cai, 2011). Even more important is that tourists’ gastronomy experiences can contribute to their satisfaction with the destination (Nield et al, 2000; Yuksel and Yuksel, 2002) and can also influence their desire to return to the destination (Sparks et al, 2003; Lin, Pearson and Cai, 2011). The Swedish government launched in 2010 “Sweden – the new gastronomy country” with the long term vision is also to gain better profitability for Swedish farmers, growers and producers, rural development, doubling gastronomy exports, more tourists visiting Sweden for the good sake of gastronomy, better public meals and more quality restaurants. But above all, the aim is to focus on the unique tastes, experiences, products and people (http://matlandet.se/about/). 80 % of tourists think that gastronomy and experiences is a main purpose for a trip and within the tourism sector and more and more people travel to rural areas to experience new and local gastronomy. However, there are some regions that are more successful in their use of gastronomy for tourism development. The aim with this paper is to discuss how tourism with the help of gastronomy can develop an underdeveloped tourism region. The study was designed as a qualitative case study where two neighboring regions in the middle of Sweden were chosen. The regions are both peripheral and are consider semi to highly rural by character. Interviews were conducted with gastronomy companies, public actors such as representatives from the region as well as the municipality and gastronomy actors. The result shows that it is important with education in gastronomy in the region. It is also of great importance with networks and key actors that works as an engine for the industry. The results point towards industrial and business heritage as an important component in adapting to new demands in tourism development based on gastronomy. It is not just important with large companies that grow, but also many small scale companies can contribute to gastronomy offers for the tourists.


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