Local food as an essential part of tourist experience has aroused many scholars’ attention, and accumulated a wealth of research results. In 2000, scholars who were inspired by the theme of endless food festivals and other food-related activities, put forward gastronomic tourism. It has now become an important branch of special-interest tourism. From only one of the six elements of tourism attractions to gastronomic tourism, the relationship of local food and tourism has become increasingly close. Giving the scarcity of research on tourist food preferences and motivations of gastronomic tourism, this paper aims to advance the understanding of gastronomic tourism by using indepth interviews. The study explores motivational factors for local food and tourist food preferences when traveling in different regions of China. Its findings indicate that most Chinese tourists treat local food as the extension of the daily dietary experience. Some recommendations are therefore offered in the study with the hope of better meeting the diverse dietary needs of tourists.
Enteleca Research Consultancy (2000). Tourist’s Attitudes towards Regional and Local Food. The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, and The Countryside Agency by Enteleca Research and Consultancy Ltd.
Kim, Y., Eves, A., & Scarles, C. (2009). Building a Model of Local Food Consumption on Trips and Holidays: A Grounded Theory Approach. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 3, 423-431.
Kim, Y., & Eves, A. (2012). Construction and Validation of a Scale to Measure Tourist Motivation to Consume Local Food. Tourism Management, 33, 1458-1467. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2012.01.015
Kim, Y. H., Kim, M., & Goh, B. K. (2011). An Examination of Food Tourist’s Behavior: Using the Modified Theory of Reasoned Action. Tourism Management, 32, 1159-1165. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2010.10.006
Okumus, B., Okumus, F., & McKercher, B. (2007). Incorporating Local and International Cuisines in the Marketing of Tourism Destinations: The Cases of Hong Kong and Turkey. Tourism Management, 28, 253-261.
Quan Shuai, & Wang Ning (2004). Towards a Structural Model of the Tourist Experience: An Illustration from Food Experience in Tourism. Tourism Management, 25, 297-305. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0261-5177(03)00130-4