‘We and our stories’: Constructing food experiences in a UNESCO gastronomy city


The experiential elements of food tourism can be transformed into meaningful experiences of local food heritage and identity in the context of a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy. From a local stakeholder perspective, six key drivers at three phases of the food experience are identified, and each driver involves several local elements that are coordinated and staged in various modes to create and develop four sequential food experiences. The pre-travel stage should focus on enhancing potential tourist’s awareness of the UNESCO designation. The on-site food experience is found to be twofold: exposure to the local food environment and the actual tasting experience in situ. The food experience is claimed to continue beyond the post-travel stage where one’s memory is triggered by stimuli and reflection. These create the ultimate local food experience for tourists, but it is the unique local identity that is critical from the local stakeholder perspective. Supplemental data for this article is available online at https://doi.org/10.1080/14616688.2021.1943701

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