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Definition of Terms

The specialized literature employs a number of different terms to designate tourism that is (at least partly) motivated by learning about and tasting local dishes and drinks. Food tourism refers to the “pursuit and enjoyment of unique and memorable food and drink experiences both far and near” (

Culinary tourism also refers to travels to different destinations in order to consume (or taste) traditional dishes and (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) drinks (Iwan and Iwan 2014). However, some argue that many English speakers perceive the term “culinary” as more elitist ( In their opinion, “culinary tourism” could be equated with “gourmet tourism,” which refers to traveling to try out expensive restaurants and wines. If we accept this definition, food tourism has a much broader meaning, as it includes enjoying foods from food carts and street vendors, as well as food served in local restaurants and pubs. In this sense, culinary tourism could be seen as a branch of food tourism (

The third term used is “gastronomy tourism.” Gastronomy is a term that is difficult to define (Scarpato 2002a). Richards (2002: 17) defined gastronomy as “the reflexive cooking, preparation, presentation and eating of food.” Gastronomic tourism can then be defined as “... involving the intentional, exploratory participation in the food way of an ‘other’, participation including the consumption—or preparation and presentation for consumption—of a food item, cuisine, meal system, or eating style considered as belonging to a culinary system not one’s own” (Long 2004: 18). Defined this way, “gastronomic tourism” seems to be more complex than either “food tourism” or “culinary tourism.”

Gastronomic tourism also includes wine tourism, food festivals, as well as other forms in which tourists come into contact with and learn about food and drinks (Quan and Wang 2004). Wine could be used as a separate attraction or could be paired with food at different culinary events (Wargenau and Che 2006). Wine tourism, or enotourism, can be defined as: “visitation to vineyards, wineries, wine festivals and wine shows for which grape wine tasting and/or experiencing the attributes of a grape wine region are the prime motivating factors for visitors” (Hall and Macionis 1998: 267; Clemente-Ricolfe et al. 2012: 187).

Wine tourism also includes cellar door sales, wines as part of dining events, and celebrating wine as cultural heritage (Charters and Ali-Knight 2002). Moreover, the definition of wine tourism also implies a lifestyle experience, an educational component, as well as linkages to art, food, and other local components of heritage (Charters and Ali-Knight 2002: 312; Clemente-Ricolfe et al. 2012: 187). Food museums allow visitors to learn how certain types of foods are produced and see the technology that is being used in food and beverage making (Iwan and Iwan 2014). There are many such museums, especially for foods, such as butter, cheese, and chocolate, as well as for drinks, such as beer, whiskey, and wine (Iwan and Iwan 2014).

Both food and wine tourism are part of cultural tourism (Richards 2002; Plummer et al. 2005); however, while food tourism could take either urban or rural form, wine tourism is generally recognized as a type of rural tourism. Indeed, the most important motivation for tourists visiting vineyards and wineries is to experience the idyllic landscape and to immerse themselves into the local cultures, heritages, and lifestyles as well as to participate in outdoor activities (Williams and Dossa 2003; Poitras and Getz 2006; Bruwer and Alant 2009; Pikkemaat et al. 2009; Carmichael 2005; Mitchell et al. 2012; Bruwer and Lesschaeve 2012). In a study on visitors to a winery region in Canada, Carmichael (2005) also found that the main reasons for their visit were (in order): “rest and relaxation,” “attractive scenery,” “unique experience,” “purchase wine,” “education,” and “contact with friends and family.” The results of these studies prove that, over time, the image of wine-producing areas has shifted from an emphasis on production to an emphasis on aesthetic and experiential values associated with recreation and tourism (Williams 2001). Moreover, in time, wine tourism has acquired culinary, educational, event hosting, and cultural dimensions (Williams 2001).

Experiences can be enhanced by creating gastronomic routes or paths that will link tourist destinations characterized by specific types of foods or drinks (Richards 2002). It is advisable that foods and drinks consumed along these routes be made from local agricultural resources (Iwan and Iwan 2014).

In Europe, for example, wine tourism can be seen mainly in the form of wine routes (Hall et al. 2000; Hall and Mitchell 2000).

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