Tourism and Op. Cit Essay

Submitted By enya1991
Words: 4082
Pages: 17

Heritage and Gastronomy: the pursuits of the 'new tourist'
Jetske van Westering
The main thrust of this text is to acknowledge the relationship between gastronomy and heritage as a key motivator for travel. Gastronomy, as a central part of culture, and its influence on other aspects of culture has received scant recognition from the academic world generated by tourism. Gastronomy, heritage and tourism are old friends; the relationship between them is mutually parasitic. Gastronomy's role as a cultural force in developing and sustaining heritage tourism is addressed, as is its increasing role as a catalyst in enhancing the quality of the tourist experience. Today's consumers' search for an individual lifestyle is changing tourism and the 'new tourist' is using the holiday for acquiring insight into other cultures. Recent research and current market trends are examined to reveal the increasing significance of gastronomy to holiday choice. It is argued that gastronomy brings culture and cultures together. Place and setting enhance the food experience and arguably vice-versa. Heritage and gastronomy combined make for an excellent marriage of tourist resources. The text argues that this combination is both used and viewed by the tourist. As such the tourist becomes engaged in cultural heritage to a deeper level.

Key words
Diet Food Gastronomy Heritage Tourism

Travel brochures, newspaper and journal articles, and television coverage indicate the emergence of food and drink—gastronomy—as a key motivating force underpinning customer choice. The fact that two days of gastronomy, or more accurately, 'wine and truffles in the Loire',1 will cost the tourist £425 is but a taster of the importance of gastronomy in travel destination choice. The proliferation of gastronomic tours throughout the year, taking in 'the names' of Europe and commanding high prices, (£3,999 for the seven day Greek Wine Odyssey for example) further fuels this contention. With European delights well established, new world tours, some in their eleventh year (California, New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, Chile and Argentina, from £1799 - £2699), serve to reinforce the growing role of food and wine in tourism today. While such tours account for gastronomy per se, others combine wine and food with walking, with music (the Montreux Jazz Festival, and the Veneto Opera tour for example), and with history (chateaux, castles, churches, medieval towns, gardens, and ancient monuments), indeed with heritage. Arguably too, where gastronomy is not to the fore, its role in selling other aspects of tourism is evidenced. Advertising of the Spanish Paradors (prestigious hotels in majestic historical settings) strongly reinforces hospitality as part of their tradition; the gastronomy of the Paradors is legendary. Similarly Italian City Breaks including 'all the attractions', reinforce the cuisine, usually regional, of the hotels booked. Trips to Ireland lure to the Giant's Causeway, not forgetting the mussels and oysters; trips to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland touch on the delights of wild salmon and a plethora of game. Travel to different countries brings the tourist into contact with alternative

Arblaster & Clarke, Arblaster & Clarke Wine Tours, 1999.

IJHS 5 (2) 75-81 © Intellect Ltd 1999


cultures, new ways of eating and drinking, optimistically to previously untapped pleasures and to new worlds—for some the key motivation for travel. The Faber publication The Faber Book of Food2 sees its text as 'a celebration not just of gastronomic pleasures but also of the world that lies behind them'. The 3 M. Visser, The Rituab of Dinner: the origins, contents' list conjures up a veritable heritage of culinary cultures all intricately evolution, eccentricities tied in with the physical environment, climate, social constructs, heritage, and meaning of table tradition and ritual, all serving to define different cultures, 'the world that lies manners, London: behind