Consumer Behavior and Tourist Relevance of Food

  January 13, 2021   Read time 1 min
Consumer Behavior and Tourist Relevance of Food
To understand the role of food in tourism industry one needs to pay a close attention to the behavior of tourists who consume food. Tourists approach food as a consumer first and in later stages some specific modes of thought related to food would be developed. In other words, consumption models are significant in analyzing tourist sense of food.

Consumer behaviour research is the study of why people, either individually or in groups, buy the product they do and how they make their decision. Such research therefore examines a range of internal (e.g. motivation, attitudes and beliefs, learning, lifestyles and personality) and external (e.g. demographics, reference groups and culture) influences on decision making (e.g. purchase decision, choice, brand awareness and loyalty, evaluation and post-purchase decisions) and, more recently, the consumption experience (e.g. the occasion, consumption setting and benefits gained from the experience). Research on consumer behaviour is interdisciplinary, drawing on concepts and theories from such fields as psychology, sociology, social psychology, marketing, cultural anthropology, economics, media studies, cultural studies and geography. While there appear to be few studies relating specifically to food and tourism, these disciplines have studied the consumption of food more generally and undoubtedly provide a useful basis for research into food tourism. It is widely recognized that tourists provide a significant proportion of the market for restaurants and cafes around the world, including empirical evidence from France, the UK, New Zealand and the USA. Further, some tourism authorities have undertaken research that includes eating out as an activity for various segments of the travel market. For instance, Tourism New Zealand identified that dining out is the most commonly cited activity for international visitors (54.1 per cent of visitors for the year ending June 2001), ahead of both general sightseeing (53.6 per cent) and shopping (46.2 per cent). However, despite the positive contribution that tourists clearly make to restaurant profitability, there is little published research on how this market is constructed. This view is echoed in the comments of the Economic Planning Group of Canada, who state that, while they have been able to find a considerable amount of material on wine tourism from around the world, ‘other than the research from the TAMS study . . . [conducted specifically for their purposes] . . ., there appears to be little market research on culinary tourism’.

Write your comment