Paikallisen ruoan matkailullinen vetovoima: Kirjallisuuskatsaus
The popularity of food tourism – tourism in which food is a main motive for travelling – has increased. The food tourist often chooses a destination, because of local food. Not only food tourists, but also other tourists are interested in local food. By focusing on local food, a destination can differentiate itself from other destinations, gain economic advantages, maintain cultural heritage and strengthen its identity. Moreover, food tourism can contribute to extending tourist seasons. We approach local food as a social construct negotiated between various tourism actors. In this review, the focus lies in the question of why tourists are interested in consuming local food. Answers to the question have been searched through existing literature, which shows that there are many reasons for tourists’ desire to consume local food. Tourists seek for experiences, authenticity and the possibility to learn about local cultures. Through food choices tourists also construct their identities. Taste, freshness and healthiness are further reasons for consuming local food, as well as a desire to support the local economy and fulfill environmental responsibility. Social motives are also important reasons. For example, eating together with family or friends strengthens bonds between them. Local food also offers possibilities to get to know local people. The touristic attractiveness of local food is, thus, a construction of different meanings attached to the local food by tourists. This should be taken into account in destination development.