Discuss the Means by Which Gastronomy
Principles of Gastronomy Topic: Discuss the means by which gastronomy can be understood as a tourism product.Introduction The emergence of gastronomic tourism is observed when a number of tourism organizations have incorporated gastronomy gastronomic elements into tourism as part of an marketing strategy, giving rise to the gastronomic tourism.(Hjalager and Richards, 2000).
In first place, the essay is going to explain the respective concepts of gastronomy and tourism, following by description of gastronomic tourism with reference to the typology suggested by Hjalager AM (2002).
Typical examples of tourism products with gastronomy focus range from food events, cooking class and workshops; food fairs featuring local products, visits to markets and producers, museums to souvenirs. In the later session there will be explanation on how gastronomy is understood as a tourism product, by fulfilling different motivations of tourists. Tourism and tourists motivation In a simple context, tourism refers to traveling and visiting new destinations away from their usual place of residence.
By definition, tourism product includes the total tourist experience that meet its expectations, including experience with housing, natural and cultural attractions, entertainment, transportation, catering. Tourists seek for travelling experience that fulfills their motivations. According to Fields (2002) and McIntosh RW, Goeldner CR & Ritchie, J. R. (1995) , , tourists’ motivation for traveling can be categorized into physical motivators, which include thrill seeking, escape from routine , sensory seeking, health concern.
Also, there are cultural motivators, interpersonal motivators and status and prestige motivators. Gastronomy as a tourism product The study of gastronomy was first undertaken by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1994). The word gastronomy is derived from Greek word gastros, meaning stomach, and gnomos, knowledge or law. According to Kivela J & Crotts JC, gastronomy is understood as the study of the relationship between food and culture. This includes the tasting, preparing, experiencing, experimenting and researching, discovering , understanding and even writing about food and wine .
Embodying the idea of art of living, gastronomy has become an indispensable element in order to get to know the culture and lifestyle of a territory. Being regarded as a new trend in tourism, gastronomy can be understood as a tourism product by the means that it fulfill several tourists’ values and expectations: seeking knowledge and appreciation in food and beverage, understanding the culture and heritage of a place, searching for healthy lifestyle, experiencing authenticity or enjoying retreats from urban lifestyle, seeking for prestige and status, and lastly pursuing sustainability.
Moreover, active promotions by marketers contribute to the understanding of gastronomy as a tourism product. The following sessions will explain the concepts in details. Gastronomy – enhancing knowledge and appreciation of food and beverage A formal dining experience in foreign countries is an example of gastronomy tourism product. Apart from the atmosphere and leisure experience enjoyed, formal meal experience provides tourists with the opportunity to learn local culture, such as exploring table manners and gain knowledge about local food.
In particular, the differences in use of ingredients and methods of preparing, cooking, and preserving food between countries can be considered as authentic or traditional culture (Fields 2002). Therefore, displaying authentic, and local cultures is a way that gastronomy can be understood as a tourism product. Cooking classes in famous culinary destinations is another way in which tourists can explore deeper about the gastronomic world. Vacationing and cooking classes is increasing in popularity because tourists can learn to cook amazing food instead of merely tasting good food.
Classic culinary destination includes Burgundy and Loire Valley in France . Furthermore, Biltmore Culinary Academy (2012) , at the Biltmore Hotel is a recreational cooking School that has a dedicated learning area and fully equipped professional kitchen offering a variety of classes, workshops, team-building events. Special foreign cooking techniques can be acquired through the learning process. Such tourism experience is far reaching and bringing long lasting benefits to travellers. Understanding culture and heritage by gastronomic tourism product Fields 2002) pointed out that local food and beverages can be included amongst cultural motivators because when tourists are experiencing new local cuisines, they are also experiencing a new culture. Tasting local food can be one of the ways to understand and experience local culture. According Leigh (2000), there is a strong relationship between types of food consumed and certain locations. Types of food consumed varies among different locations . For example . it is normal for French to eat eat frogs and snails, horse in their meals; Arabs eat camel meat and drink camel milk while?
Australian eat Kangaroo and Emu. Different places have very distinctive food cultures. Such differences serve as uniqueness of each location and provide reasons for tourists to travel away from home. Moreover, regional gastronomic routes contribute to the understanding of local culture and enhance of agricultural knowledge (Munster 1994). In Benelux, there are seasonal routes that reflect links between agricultural cycles and local food production such as asparagus route, a mussel route, a hops route and a gin route.
Seasonality of these routes coincides with the main tourist season to cater their needs. As these routes showcase specific products of a particular location in particular season, gastronomy can be understood as tourism product by its relevance to agricultural knowledge. Gastronomy in searching for healthy lifestyle as a tourism product Gastronomy can be understood as a tourism product through the emphasis on health concerns (Richards G, 2002). Tourists from the developed countries are increasingly cautious about their health.
For example, some health farms offer food products which have positive impacts on health and physical condition; The ‘Mediterranean Diet’ in Greece and Italy, or the ‘Atlantic Diet’ in Portugal also emphasizes the health benefits of their food. Western tourists who are burdened by obesity or high cholesterol level are particularly attracted to pay a visit. Gastronomy can therefore be a tourism product by fulfilling tourists physical needs of improving health conditions.
Experiencing authenticity or enjoying retreats from urban lifestyle In working farms, tourists can get a touch with simple and unsophisticated peasant food and beverage that is prepared with care and respect to tradition.The authentic experience is particularly treasurable for tourists who seek for retreats from tourists spots with extravagant decor and service. In a vineyard, tourists can participate in harvesting of grapes and fruits. These experience enable tourists, who are mainly city dwellers to try something new and enrich their personal experience.
Gastronomy can be understood as a tourism product by allowing city dwellers to visit farmers’ market. Visitors can obtain country experience outside city and gain knowledge outside school textbooks. For example, interactive farm experiences offered in Collingwood Children’s Farm (2012) include fun activities such as bottle-feeding lambs, milking the cow. Trained staff will teach visitors how to approach and handle farm animals correctly. The Farmers’ market also brings about real and fresh produce from over 70 farmers in the region.
Products such as seasonal fruit, regional olive oil, smoked meat & fish, artisan cheeses, home made condiments, and artisan cheeses are examples. A wine tour experience in the relaxing suburb is also popular gastronomic tourist activity. Wine tours typically include session of wine tasting, with adorable cheese or chocolate. Visitors can also walk through a heritage trail from the picturesque vineyards to the historic settlement; tourists can also meet the winemaker who will share their experience in winemaking process, and have a gourmet lunch experience paired with high quality wines ( Wyndham Estate 2012 ) .
Gastronomy as a tourism product to express prestige and status One of the motivators for tourism is seeking of status and prestige. Gastronomy can be understood as a tourism product as it fulfills requirement in this aspect. According to Fields (2002) , eating nice food in a luxury place or attending special occasions can be regarded as a means to be distinguished from others. Moreover, tourist can express their prestige by tasting unique local food.
Reynolds (2002) further pointed out that eating food in a nice restaurant and being seen to eat there can be considered as a tool of drawing status distinctions. Gastronomy in form of souvenirs can also be tourism product that fulfills ones’ motivation of seeking prestige. Distinctive food and beverage products that is not available at home place are popular among tourist. Examples are authentic ingredients, designer glassware, porcelain, cutlery, and kitchen gadgets souvenirs, which can highlight the local culture of a place.
Souvenirs can serve as a status symbol that allows tourists to share their prestigious and unique memories with family and friends. Large-scale events such as food and wine festivals are the most popular tourism product in gastronomy context. For example, the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE is a national, star-studded, four-day destination annual event showcasing the talents of the world’s most renowned wine and spirits producers, chefs and culinary personalities (SOBEFEST 2012).
Tourists can have a chance to meet the culinary celebrities such as Bobby Flay, Emeril Lagasse, Rachel Ray and so on. Events such as tribute dinner are rare opportunity for tourists to have a touch with featured dishes of some of the world’s most renowned chefs. Moreover, smartest designer cafes and restaurants that serve innovative menus and offer equally chic service are equally attractive to tourists who enjoy indulging themselves in trendy foods and wines. The Fat Duck restaurant in England is an excellent example.
The restaurant is known for its menu of unusual dishes, created following the principles of molecular gastronomy including egg and bacon ice cream. Luxurious food and wine styles and cuisines with the extravagant uses of ingredients often form a part of their image and prestige Gastronomy as a tourism product by achieving sustainability With the emphasis on achieving sustainability, gastronomy can be understood as tourism products that boost the economies and reputation of a destination.
For instance, as supported by FEHGRA, a gastronomic association in Argentina, a great diversity of high-end culinary offerings can be found throughout the country that use creative regional ingredients of the highest ancestral grains and tubers in the north and meat and dairy in the center. By using local ingredients, the place of origin and production of each ingredient are respected instead of travelling ingredients from a long way. Tourists’ destinations are also given a boost through their cuisine, as people travel to consume these excellent foods searching for balanced and healthy dishes with least possible wastage in heir preparation. * Marketing promotions to merge gastronomy with tourism product Apart from linking gastronomic experiences to tourist needs, active promotion and marketing strategies of tourism organizations is equally important. With more promotions tactics, gastronomy is much easier to be understood as a tourism product. According to the World Tourism Organization (2012), common marketing techniques used are organized events , and print brochures or websites. A sound illustration will be the Prove Portugal programme (2010) held in Portugal. It aims to communicate the national brand through the recognition of Portuguese cuisine.
A website dedicated to Portuguese food and wine is established along with other communication tactics to further promote International culinary tours, books, training in the Schools of Hospitality and Tourism, and the fundamentals of Portuguese regional cuisine and chefs. Great efforts are put to make the place a strong- branded culinary destination for tourists. Conclusion In a nutshell, the rocketed development of gastronomy tourism proves that food is no longer a basic necessities for human, but a cultural element that associated with leisure and relaxation.
Gastronomy can be understood as a tourism product in many ways such as food events, cooking class and workshops; food fairs featuring local products, visits to markets and producers, museums to souvenirs. Its vital role in tourism is further enhanced through the promotions and marketing efforts by tourism organizations. By fulfilling different motivations of tourists, namely in physical, cultural, experimental and prestigious level, gastronomy is understood as a tourism product. Reference: 1) Brillat JA ,1994). The physiology of taste (A. Drayton, Trans. ).
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