Gastronomy as Tourism Product
October 22nd, 2013.
Table of Contents
Visit Experiences ………………………………………………………………………….4
My visit to Alto Minho, Wine Trail in Portugal ………….……………..…………….4
My visit to Wambion, Canberra Farm Stay………………………………..…………………5
Packaging Wine Trail and Farm Stay for Consumption……………….……………………6
Gastronomy as Tourism Product
With the increasing competition between tourist destinations, local culture is increasingly becoming an important source of new activities and products to amuse and attract tourists. In particular, gastronomy has a vital role to perform in this, not only because food is critical to the tourist experience, but also due to that gastronomy is now an essential identity source within the postmodern societies. Quite often we are what we consume, not simply in the physical aspect but rather because people identify with specific kinds of cuisine that we encounter during our holidays.
Bell andValentine (2007) argues that as tourists are more and more becoming mobile, so does the same apply to the food they consume. The contented association with particular foods with certain regions or destinations is being challenged by the increasing good mobility, culinary styles as well as the growing differentiation of cuisines and dishes. A way from producing a homogenized gastronomic setting, the stress between localization and globalization is creating is greater variations. Not only are global foods and drinks emerging, for instance McDonald’s and Coca Cola, but the regional and local cuisine is thriving, and fresh fusion food brands are also being established to feed the international soul. Tourists in their own styles are a source of gastronomic mobility, through establishing a demand in their individual countries for the foods, which they experienced overseas.
Gastronomy has considerably developed over the ages, and there are various studies that document the development of gastronomic tastes and styles over time. For instance, Hall (2003) maps out the development of eating in France and England since the medieval era. In the recent past, the initial definition of gastronomy has widened. Reed (2007) describes gastronomy as the art of enjoying, serving, preparing and selecting fine food. Initially, gastronomy was for the nobility; however with time the concept has changed to entail the peasant food, classically of local and regional cuisine and also comprising a broad range of foods. This report however, explores ways through which gastronomy can be understood as a tourism product utilizing wine trail and farm stay visit experiences.
2.0 Visit Experiences
2.1 My visit to Alto Minho Wine Trail in Portugal
My love for history, wine trail and excursion took me to Alto Minho in Portugal. I wanted to see the original documentation regarding the Vinho Verde that can be traced back to 1216. I knew at the place I would get firsthand experience of Vinho Verde, a wine that only the upper class had the pleasure of drinking. I my visit learned that Wine became global known late in the 14th C. in the course of D. Joao’s reign. I also learned that are historical materials of English traders purchasing the wine directly from Alto Minho, and they established a depository in Viana at the foot of River Lima in 16th C, when trade flourished. Following a fierce battle between the Spain and Portugal, the trade collapsed. In the middle of 17th C, English came back for the wine trade, however the established the industry in Porto, substituting the demand for Vinho Verde with fortified red-wine, something that lots of tourist would want to come and experience.
I observed that alongside other wine producing nations in Europe, Portugal has cuddled the wine trail concept establishing this tourism product in port wine (Douro), the Alentejo as well as the green wine zone of Alto Minho. Such undertaking, put in place by the green wine viticulturists association, endeavors to develop other aspects of the tourist product regarding this attraction. The Vinho Verde Wine trail took me to Estates (Quintas) across the region, where I was able to sample this great wine. However, I was informed that when I am not interested in the route, I could visit or be taken to the sites where I can do the sampling, for example in Solar do Alvarinho, a number of visitors routes have also been developed, which promote both the local wines and gastronomy, for instance the Santiago’s pilgrimage.
At Alto Minho I clearly experience great hospitality, beauty and passion. Amidist the Duoro forests, their sun quenched grapes smoothly caressed by Douro valley breezes, reveals their stupendous flavor profiles. There is pure goodness feel for their wines made with care and love, ideal for pairing with food and sharing with friends.
I experienced the best culinary tourism even in Alto Minho, Portugal as I cycled around the green wine region and experience the sounds, sights and tastes of the region. Alto Minho has some the legendry wines in the globe, and there is no better way to experience and enjoy the region than by riding your way through this zone. During my visit I visited three wineries on every ride and, thereafter got a treat of the local meal. Any purchases I made during the ride were collected and delivered to my final destination. There were cycling experts and guides to answer questions and show me the direction. The wine trial rides comprise tours, tastings and a meal from local products (Gössling & Hall 2006).
Every route is unique, but most of their rides utilize a combination of trail and road. The landscape is valley, which makes Alto Minho a great cycling destination because it connects the rich agricultural lands, natural areas, architecturally and historically significant wineries, structures, and farm stands.
Their farmers and Mother Nature guide them while planning for the meals. Since their menus are based on what is available during the ride and on the season, their menus are not designed until the week of the wine trail ride. They want the dinner to be a true reflection of what is locally available and the season (Buchanan 2008). Besides the regularly organized rides, which take place once every month, Alto Minho also provides personal group wine trail rides and they can be organized at any day of the week. Once the visiting group chooses a date, Alto Minho will organize the details, meal and the route. These rides comprise enhanced gourmet meal, experienced guide, tastings, tours, and helmet and bicycle as well. Such rides are perfect for groups, which may not make the regularly organized rides or have if they have a special function that they would want to celebrate with friends and family. Corporate events, bridal parties and family outings are some of the groups that I saw having out at the place. The above activities clearly demonstrate that wine trail is a great gastronomic tourism product.
3.0 My visit to Wambion, Canberra Farm Stay
My visit to Wambion, Canberra Farm Stay revealed to me that this is an on-farm experience whereby I can engage in the day to day on-farm activities as I experience and enjoy the realities of rural setting and living. As a tourist, I desire is to learn from the host and share farm life, and therefore in an essence, it is a self-discovery and experimental learning experience (Hall, & Mitchell 2005a). The farm I visited is working viable businesses that generate almost all their revenue from agricultural production. My experience in the farm stay was truly (inherently) authentic, since it requires the willingness from both the host and myself to forge a relationship with one another, engage with one another in a level that normally has a longer term impact resulting to a lasting friendships
Farm stay can be understood as gastronomic tourism product because they are operational farms participating in activities that are tourism by design to complement their agriculture-based earnings (Bell & Valentine 2007). From farm stay, two product categories can be derived, farm holidays and farm hosting. Farm hosting entails the host and visitor establishing a close relationship in the course of the shared accommodation space, meals and time. According to Bessière (2008), farm stay could also imply working, active farms that complement their main agricultural function with some kind of tourism business. The operators normally provide services to the general population of their localities and tourists as well. Some of the services they offer include accommodation, foodservice, bed and breakfast meals, and other activities focusing on traditional pastoral farm that makes the tourist or visitor to feel part of the family.
From my visit experience I noted that the demands for farm stay immersed me in agricultural functions in its most literal sense of hands on and down to earth experiences. Similarly to other ecotourism products, it is small scale tourism that has a limited market appeal. Farm stay agri-tourism has the most potential to serve as a storehouse for regional cultural authenticity derived from the agricultural life of the host community.
4.0 Packaging Wine Trail and Farm Stay for Consumption
The stakeholders, especially the rural communities should offer a package or cluster of amenities before their regions constitutes as tourist attraction. Providing a complete package is critical and every product category in each package needs to complement one another at the same time as preserving the rural character.
Some of the features to consider while establishing the gastronomic tourism property (WTO 2007c) include;
Proximity to the markets or the location
Accessibility to the property (signage and roads)
The kind of accommodation provided (B & B, camp ground, cabins, shearers quarters self-catered, cottage self-catered, homestead full board).
Seasonal restrictions, which may apply (farm workload, climate)
Attractions such as bushland, crops, flora and fauna, river, valleys etc
Available farm activities,
Leisure opportunities (recreational pursuits, crafts, games)
The general quality of the overall environment
And the local area attraction such as clubs, museums, tourists drives
Every tourism venture competes within the market for tourists. It is through gastronomic tourism product differentiation that each individual venture can acquire competitive edge, and thus get more tourists spending. One approach of differentiating their products from imminent competition is through orientation experience.
Wine trail can be understood as a gastronomic tourism product since it offers experiences where tourists visit wineries on every ride and, finally enjoy the local meal. There are cycling professionals and guides to answer questions and guide. The wine trial also offers tours, tastings and a meal from local products.
On the other hand farm stay can be understood as a gastronomic tourism product because it is an on-farm experience whereby the visitor engages in the day to day on-farm activities they experience and enjoy the realities of rural setting and living. Some of the gastronomic tourism services that Farm stay offers include accommodation, foodservice, bed and breakfast meals, and other activities focusing on traditional pastoral farm that makes the tourist or visitor to feel part of the family.
The development of cultural practices associated with food has also meant that the gastronomy concept has started to embrace cultural practices. Lately, consumption and serving of food has become an international industry, whereby tourism is an integral component.
Bell, D., & Valentine, G 2007.Consuming geographies: We are where we eat. London:
Bessière, J 2008. Local development and heritage: Traditional food and cuisine as tourist
Attraction in rural Areas. Sociologia Ruralis, 38(1), 21
Buchanan, I., 2008, International Backpackers and Australian Tourism Regions, Bureau of
Tourism Research, Canberra
Gössling, S., & Hall, C.M. (eds) 2006.Tourism and global environmental change, Routledge,
Hall, C.M 2003. Biosecurity and wine tourism: Is a vineyard a farm? Journal of Wine Research,
Hall, C.M., & Mitchell, R. 2005a. Food tourism. In M. Novelli (Ed.), Niche Tourism:Contemporary issues,
trends and cases (pp.73-88). Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann
Hjalager, A. M., & Richards, G. (Eds.) 2009.Tourism and gastronomy. London: Routledge.
Telfer, D. J 2002.Tourism and regional development issues. In R. Sharpley & D.Telfer (Eds),
Tourism and Development; Concepts and Issues (pp. 112-148). Clevedon:Channel View
Reed, M.G 2007. Power Relations and Community-Based Tourism Planning, Annals of
TourismResearch, Vol 24 Num 3, Pergamon Press, USA.
WTO 2007c. International Tourism: A Global Perspective, World Tourism Organization,