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Exploring culinary tourism
Language: English This thesis is written in English
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Federica Simona, Stenden University, 2016-17
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Academic area
Social and Political Sciences
This paper investigates the trend of culinary tourism, which has recently gained attention across all the European nations. Researchers have started studying this growing phenomenon to identify how this trend can attract more tourists to destinations. Some European countries—such as France and Italy—are already known for their delicious gastronomy. In these places, the typical food and beverage products already present a reason for traveling. However, in some other parts of Europe, the trend of culinary tourism has just started to grow. The perfect case to study this phenomenon has been found in the region of Ticino, in the Italian part of Switzerland.

The main objective of this research is to investigate the current situation of Ticino in the context of how culinary tourism has developed in this area. It is important to identify all the involved stakeholders and analyze how they interact with one another. Moreover, the promotion of this trend inside and outside the region of Ticino is analzed. The most suitable research method to find an answer to the problem statement is the qualitative method.

The first sample interviewed includes the organizers of the culinary events. From these interviews, it is revealed that the tourism offices are not involved in the creation of culinary events. In fact, the organizers are private citizens—people who normally works as dentists, pharmacists, teachers, or freelancers. Therefore, it has been decided to interview the DMO (Destination Marketing Organization) of the region of Ticino, in order to analyse the role played by it in regard to culinary tourism.

The findings reveal that the tourism offices have some major difficulties in promoting culinary tourism, due to the different languages and cultures of Switzerland. On the other hand, the organizers—who are volunteers—are not always able to provide a professional service. Strengthening the collaboration among these stakeholders is essential. It is also determined that the government and the hotel industry should collaborate in order to better develop culinary tourism in the area of Ticino.

All the organizers of culinary events can work together to create a bigger event that can welcome a larger number of participants, and can ensure improvement in all the services needed by tourists. This includes an easier way to sell tickets, accessible locations, organized transportations, and appropriate language assistance.