Tourism is a major part of the contemporary experience economy, in which food plays an important role. Food is a key part of all cultures, a major element of global intangible heritage and an increasingly important attraction for tourists. The linkages between food and tourism also provide a platform for local economic development, which can be strengthened by the use of food experiences for branding and marketing destinations.
One of the major challenges in the experience economy is dealing with the shift towards intangible culture and heritage. The focus of many tourists has changed from the classic 'must see' physical sights such as museums and monuments towards a ‘must-experience’ imperative to consume intangible expressions of culture, such as atmosphere, creativity and lifestyle. This provides new opportunities for tourism destinations as well as new challenges, particularly in the areas of experience development, marketing and branding.
This publication provides an understanding of the role of food tourism in local economic development and its potential for country branding. It also presents several innovative case studies in the food tourism sector and the experience industry.