Title: Gastro-tourism as destination branding in emerging markets

Authors: Helena A. Williams; Robert L. Williams Jr.; Maktoba Omar

Addresses: Mar-Kadam Associates, Greater Chicago Area, 46545, USA ' Marketing and International Business, Department of Business Administration and Economics, Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN 46556-5001, USA ' Edinburgh Napier University, The Business School, Craiglockhart Campus, Edinburgh, EH14 1DJ, UK

Abstract: Gastro-tourism, a niche that attracts billions in revenue worldwide, involves intentional pursuits of authentic memorable culinary experiences while travelling internationally, regionally or locally. For gastro-tourists, food is the motivation for travel; the locations merely functions as vehicles for gastronomic experiences (food-related-activities that involve behind-the-scenes observations, cultural/regional illuminations and often hands-on participation, culminating in partaking food or drink.) This paper identifies three phases of travel and corresponding elements essential for the creation of new gastro-tourism enterprises. It introduces the significance of shared Gastro-Tourism Brand Promises, agreed upon, cross marketed, and fulfilled by individual hosts, groups/networks, and regional/government entities. By providing basic infrastructure elements - health, safety, transportation and communication; identifying loosely organised home-grown resources and talent; creating and marketing shared brand promises; and incorporating ongoing feedback during three travel phases, emerging markets in underdeveloped countries and underdeveloped pockets in developed nations can ignite and maintain successful gastro-tourist enterprises.

Keywords: destination branding; gastro-tourism; gastro experiences; emerging markets; culinary tourism; food tourism; place branding; gastronomic destination branding; culinary experiences; infrastructure elements; home-grown resources; shared brand promises; feedback; gastro tourists; gastronomic destinations.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLTM.2014.059257

International Journal of Leisure and Tourism Marketing, 2014 Vol.4 No.1, pp.1 - 18

Available online: 11 Feb 2014

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