Destination Management: The Influence of Local Food
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This study investigates tourist attitudes to local food on destination choice, travel motivation, satisfaction and perceived object-related and existential authenticity. Additionally, the mediating effects of authenticity on these relationships is also examined. A quantitative survey (n = 368) by questionnaire was conducted. Data was analysed using factor analysis and Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) to show that tourist attitudes to local food influence destination choice, satisfaction and perceptions of object-related and existential authenticity. Furthermore, it was found that existential authenticity, rather than object-related authenticity had a greater impact on the relationships between tourist attitudes to local food and destination choice, travel motivation and satisfaction. A clear and influential relationship between tourists’ attitudes to local food and travel behaviour was found. Tourists want an existential authentic local food experience where they can be actively involved. Destinations should emphasise unique regional specialities and highlight the experiential value of local food.
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