Food tourism gets a great rap

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Food tourism gets a great rap

Food tourism: A practical marketing guide, by John and Linda Stanley – reviewed by Annals of Tourism research.

This book is a new welcome addition to food tourism practice and literature. The book has ten sections, divided into four parts.

In the first part, the authors present an introductory chapter followed by a chapter titled ‘‘The Changing Tourists’’. This chapter clearly explains the current food tourism playground in terms of the recent changes and developments taking place in tourism and food tourism activities.

The second part contains four chapters: ‘‘On-Farm Marketing and Activities’’, ‘‘Off-Farm Marketing and Retailing’’, ‘‘Agri-Entertainment’’, and ‘‘Agri-Tourism and Accommodation’’. These four chapters explain marketing and management activities under major classifications of food tourism.

Part Three starts with an examination of marketing and management activities in ‘‘Independent Garden Centres and Nurseries’’ focuses on the design and presentation of the food offer. Part Four concludes with overall marketing activities, and the future of food tourism.

Food is regarded not only as being a basic necessity for human consumption, but also an essential element of an overall touristic product and tourist experience (Hegarty & O’Mahony, 2001; Hjalager & Richards, 2002; Ignatov & Smith, 2006; Jones & Jenkins, 2002; Koc, 2013; Smith, 2014). Moreover, as food enables tourists to evolve from being mere sightseers to active participants in their holiday, it is an integral part of tourism (Cohen & Avieli, 2004).

Food tourism should not be confused with gourmet tourism. Gourmet tourism represents only 8% of all food tourism (WFTA, 2013). Food tourism is a fast growth sector that covers many related phenomena. It has grown 30% over the last decade and it offers many opportunities for entrepreneurs. The book emphasises the blending of tourism and retailing and explains in simple and clear English, yet extensive in scope and depth. The authors use many interesting photos and facts to facilitate understanding.

This is a beautifully written book that presents rich and interesting content to its audience—food tourism entrepreneurs, would-be entrepreneurs, academics, and students at all levels in the field of food tourism and tourism. As the authors are seasoned food tourism experts with many years of experience, and are food tourism entrepreneurs themselves, they show throughout the book that they have a full grasp of food tourism activities.

The book is full of practical advice and tips, organised under suitable headings and supported by facts and figures from research studies. The recommendations and tips provided in the book are comprehensive and cover a wide spectrum from sanitary issues, numbers and sizes of tables to parking spaces in the parking lots, pricing, signage and taking care of children. The book takes the reader on an interesting and a pleasant journey from the production of food by the producer to its consumption by the tourists. It should be noted that the book is also powerful as it encourages the academic reader often stop and take notes to use in class but also to inspire her/him for interesting future research ideas.

We still have copies of the book in the office if you are interested in getting a copy – email me.