Research Insights: Food tourism, a life satisfaction factor
Gastro(food)-tourism—sampling local, region-specific food and drink while traveling—has become a key element in the hospitality industry. In fact, on average, one-fourth of tourist expenditures go toward food experiences. Nevertheless, there has been little rigorous, quantitative examination of how gastro-tourism experiences contribute to life satisfaction, an important consideration for those studying consumer behavior.
In a co-authored article, “Gastro-tourism well-being: the interplays of salient and enduring determinants,” published in the International Journal of Hospitality Management, Muhammet Kesgin, Associate Professor in Saunders College Department of International Hospitality and Service Innovation, and his collaborators examined how gastro-tourism, either deliberate or incidental, contributes to tourists’ long-term life satisfaction and sense of well-being beyond the simple pleasures of eating and drinking. They were particularly interested in gastro-tourism experiences that remain vivid in travelers’ memories for a long time. The authors collected quantitative data using an online survey of tourists’ deliberate and incidental gastro-tourism experiences.
Kesgin and his colleagues found that food experiences for tourists are not only merely hedonic but also provide satisfaction later in life, and not only concerning pleasure: for example, spending good times with friends and family, and enjoying life. These gastro-tourism experiences can be meaningful, an important part of autobiographical memory.
View the paper, in the International Journal of Hospitality Management, 34(9) 2022, “Gastro-tourism well-being: the interplays of salient and enduring determinants.”