Discover the other, the place and oneself by food. Food tourism as experiential process in rural areas

Abstract : Instituted as a national norm, where the « meal » is today recognised with the inscription to the intangible world heritage, French Gastronomy, is perceived as a common foundation, a collective marker federating a common identity. This French-style « eating well » seems to be a national code that qualifies, units and identifies. Analysing holidays as a quest of meaning and identity, it appears expedient to set food as a component of the tourism quest. The communication as for objectives to analyse, from a socio-anthropological dimension, the possible connections and interaction between food and tourism, questioning the relevance and the institutionalization of a new field of research identifiable around the expressions of food tourism, gastronomic tourism, holidays food or touristic food. Studying the meaning given to food in holidays will be at stake. We will focus on the role and place occupied by food during holidays. We will stress on the measure of the « room » occupied by food in the visitors representation, at the level of the motivations associated to travel, or to the imaginary representation around food and beverages that tourist deploy during their stay, linked with the perceptions of the visited territory. To which extend the « environmental bubble » of tourism described by Cohen and Avieli (Cohen et Al, 2004) determine and differentiate the relation with the local inhabitants and with the local food? More than the food perception of tourist, it is as well the touristic behaviour in regards to purchasing and food consumption as well as the practices related to food souvenirs that we will questioned. This reflexion is structured on results coming from a research conducted in 4 South Western territories of France, and chosen in regards of their strong tourism and gastronomic potentials.
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Conference papers
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Jacinthe Bessière. Discover the other, the place and oneself by food. Food tourism as experiential process in rural areas. 2nd, workshop « Gastronomy and Local Development » Quality of products quality of places, Quality of experiences, La Rochelle Tourism Management Institute, Université d’Angers, Nov 2015, La Rochelle, France. ⟨hal-01465467⟩

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