An exploratory study of food in destination marketing

STALMIRSKA, Anna (2017). An exploratory study of food in destination marketing. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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While food, as an element of culture, is increasingly being used in many destination marketing strategies, most research on food-related tourism marketing has been conducted from the demand-side focusing on food-related visitor experiences. Moreover, most research in this domain has been dominated by Asian perspectives, neglecting emerging Western destinations. Considering these shortcomings, the overarching aim of this PhD study was to explore the use of food in destination marketing in selected destinations in Yorkshire, England, to address this gap in knowledge, and to develop recommendations for destination marketers and other industry stakeholders to assist in planning and utilising food as a cultural resource more effectively at the destination level. The research strategy was based on an embedded single-case study with multiple units of analysis: four destination marketing organisations (DMOs) at regional and local levels. During the first stage of the data collection process, a qualitative content analysis of DMO websites was undertaken to explore how food was used in the current marketing strategies. This approach enabled the researcher to evaluate textual and visual information used to represent food on the official DMO websites at regional and local levels. The second stage involved semi-structured interviews with DMO representatives and “industry experts” and aimed to seek deeper insights into the use of food in destination marketing strategies. The findings indicate that food in destination marketing is an area in which DMOs are increasingly active, but in which there is considerable variance. This is visible in the changing and evolving nature of the English cuisine, but also in the differences which were identified in the marketing of food in rural and urban destinations reflecting both cultural heterogenisation and homogenisation. Moreover, this study found that despite the increasing use of “local” food in destination marketing, there is a lack of consensus over what counts as “local”. Accordingly, this study proposes four key dimensions representing different perceptions and judgments about what counts as “local”, as indicated in this study by interview participants as well as the review of the literature. In addition, this study identified the changing nature of DMOs and destination marketing as well as numerous challenges that DMOs face in delivering value to consumers and stakeholders. In particular, in view of the increasingly important role of food, this study has identified the activities of cooperation and networking among and between public and private sectors as pre-requisites to the effective implementation of food in destination marketing activities.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Whalley, Peter
Thesis advisor - Fallon, Paul
Additional Information: Director of Studies: Dr Peter Whalley. Supervisor: Dr Paul Fallon
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Hilary Ridgway
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2018 09:03
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2021 13:34

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