Gastronomy and Tourism Research Group
ATLAS Special Interest Group
Gastronomy and Tourism Research Group
The Gastronomy and Tourism Research Group was established at the expert meeting held in Portugal in March 2001, which was attended by 10 ATLAS members who made presentations to the International Gastronomy Conference organised by the Regional Tourist Board for the Alto Minho. The papers presented at the Portugal meeting have been published by Routledge in June 2001 (A.M. Hjalager and G. Richards (2001) Tourism and Gastronomy. London: Routledge).
The Tourism and Gastronomy Group organised a very successful special track at the Lisbon conference in 2015, on the theme of ‘risky gastronomies’. The concept of risk was treated quite broadly, ranging from the health risks associated with preparing and eating food to the cultural risk of presenting new or unfamiliar food to tourists.
For example Elsa Soro used the concept of foodsphere to understand food as a cultural operator that catalyses encounters, intersections, and contaminations among different identities and cultures in the multi-ethnic and tourist scenario of the city of Barcelona. By describing different food experience and culinary projects intersected by tourist flows and the mobilities of immigrant communities and temporal residents, the case illustrates different types of hybridized place identity construction that take place in Barcelona.
Anderson Gomes de Souza from Recife analysed the perceived risks of eating beach food in Brazil. He found that few tourists do not realize the risks in the consumption of food and beach, among the perceived risks, one stood out: the health risk, since food consumption is directly linked to physical integrity of individuals. Although most respondents perceived risks in the consumption of beach food, it was found that the greater the propensity of tourists to take risks, the lower your perception of the risk. The main risk reduction strategies used by tourists were the presentation of the food and the presentation of the seller.
Greg Richards and Carlos Fernandes argued that destinations increasingly need to take risks in order to present an attractive gastronomic offer to tourists. Not only are established ideas of ‘traditional’ food being challenged by globalisation and localisation, but the growing mobility of tourists and local populations is reducing the previously hard divisions between ‘locals’ and ‘tourists’. In many cases the contemporary ‘foodie’ has a knowledge of foodways and food cultures to match that of many locals. In this situation creating engaging food experiences requires an innovative approach to the re-invention of traditional food that uses local knowledge as a basis for innovation. However, since local knowledge alone is unlikely to be sufficient to fully engage with the global networks that can attract the gastronomic tourist, it should also be recognised that innovation needs to take place in a way that can appeal to influential ‘switchers’ or ‘selectors’ within those networks.
It is anticipated that another meeting of the group will be held in conjunction with the ATLAS Annual Conference in Viana do Castelo in Portugal in September 2017.
The Tourism and Gastronomy Group has been running since 2000, and has produced a number of publications, including the Tourism and Gastronomy volume (Routledge, 2002). Expert meetings have been held in Portugal, France, Italy and Spain over the years. The most recent was organised by Carlos Fernandes of the Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo in Portugal, and attracted 30 delegates from 10 different countries.
At the meeting, which was held in Arcos de Valvadez in the Minho region, the new Journal of Tourism and Gastronomy was also presented be representatives of publishers Cognizant. The Journal is edited by Anne-Mette Hjalager, a long-time member of the ATLAS Tourism and Gastronomy Group. The first issue of the journal included a review of the tourism and gastronomy field by Anne-Mette and a paper on Evolving Gastronomic Experiences: From Food to Foodies to Foodscapes from group coordinator Greg Richards. Papers from the meeting in Arcos have also been submitted to the journal, and the Group is committed to supporting the development of the journal in future.
The group is also organising an ATLAS Annual Conference Track on Risky Gastronomies and Foodscapes, which has generated a lot of interest, with 15 abstracts submitted. There is an interesting range of subjects being discussed in this track, including risk management, food meanings, risk and food innovation, the development of foodscapes and food narratives.
Plans for future meetings and research activities will be discussed at the meeting in Lisbon.
The ATLAS Tourism and Gastronomy group was formed in 2000, and held its first meeting in the Alto Minho region of Portugal in 2001. The group was active for a number of years, producing a number of publications (Hjalager and Richards 2002; Collen and Richards, 2003). Recently, however, Coordinator Kevin Fields had to step down due to ill health, and this produced a lull in activities.
A recent surge in interest in gastronomy has breathed new life into the group, and this led to the organisation of another meeting in the Alto Minho region in 2014. This time the location was the School of Agriculture, Polytechnic Instititute of Viana do Castelo, in Refóios do Lima, Portugal. Thirty delegates from Portugal, South Africa, the United States, Thailand, New Zealand, the UK, the Netherlands, Spain, Russia and Ireland came together there to discuss the growing tensions between innovation and tradition in gastronomic systems. While innovative chefs gather Michelin stars, at local level others struggle to maintain gastronomic traditions, which often have a much lower profile. In many cases, however, it is the ‘everyday’ food that attracts people to particular places, rather than star chefs.
A full report of the meeting is available on:
Some of the papers from the meeting are currently being considered for publication in the new journal Gastronomy and Tourism, edited by Anne-Metter Hjalager, which was also presented at the meeting.
The Alto Minho meeting also included the launch of the candidacy of the region for the new European Region of Gastronomy title, due to be awarded for the first time in 2016. The award is being developed by the International Institute for Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism (IGCAT), which also supported the expert meeting. One of the important priorities of the Alto Minho programme for 2016 will be the development of educational programme s and research h in the field of gastronomy and tourism. In conjunction with other European regions, IGCAT and ATLAS, the Alto Minho is seeking to develop a European network of tourism and gastronomy education, which is planned to include ERASMUS exchanges and joint Masters programmes.
Our SIG has been rather quiet of late – people busy with more pressing matters – but we hope to be active in the very near future and will hopefully be announcing details of our next meeting shortly. For the time being I’ll share what I can, but have to warn you that some details might be subject to change.
If things go as planned we’ll be having a SIG meeting in Ponte de Lima, Portugal, at the end of March 2012. We’ll be piggy-backing another event taking place there and the organisers (via Carlos Fernandes) have offered to cover the local transfer costs, accommodation, and all meals, for 15 delegates. Two places will be taken up by Carlos, as local organiser, and myself as coordinator, so there will be space for 13 other delegates. You would be responsible for your own airfare and conference fee.
The theme will very much centre upon connections between food and place, and its relevance to tourism. When the call for papers is ready there will be more specific details but if you have any current or planned research focussing upon the connections between food identity and place identity, or gastronomic heritage, taking into account their connections to tourism, that is likely to be relevant. The conference title will be ‘From Terroir to Tourism’.
Ponte de Lima is a particularly suitable destination for our theme as a range of restaurants in the town are famous in relation to a particular dish of the region - Arroz de Sarrabulho. If you are interested in knowing more go to:
As soon as details are finalised I will announce them, and send out the call for papers.
The SIG has been quiet over the last year or so due to circumstances. As a result the recent coordinator took over in the latter part of last year. The planned meeting at the conference (the first since Portugal, 2007) will be an opportunity to rejuvenate activities within the SIG. Under discussion will be a conference tentatively planned for mid 2010, along with opportunities for coloration and future publications. There has been interest shown in the SIG from a number of recently graduated PhDs in the field of food/gastronomy/tourism, and I hope that the enthusiasm shown by these new members will allow us to develop into the future.
Rather a calm before the storm at the moment. There is little happening as our expert meeting draws close in Macau. A certain amount of planning has been carried out since our last meeting, in Barcelona, but any research being undertaken is by individuals, rather than any joint initiatives by the group.
The number of submitted abstracts for Macau is less than hoped for, possibly because our members' focus is currently on the forthcoming annual ATLAS conference, rather than the gastronomy meeting, which is two months later.
It is also possible that European members are slightly discouraged by the perceived geographic remoteness of Macau. If that is the case, I can assure you that this globe of ours is shrinking and remoteness is nowadays just a perception, not a reality. Access to Macau is better than it has ever been and the cost of flights is not the barrier it may have once been.
Additionally, those who attend are likely to enjoy gastronomic experiences (from an academic viewpoint, of course) only previously enjoyed by the most seasoned of travellers. Whetting your appetite yet? It should truly be a marvellous event and expand the food horizons of our gastronomes considerably!
Right, I'll get off my soap box now. Just trying to give extra encouragement to the fence-sitters who haven't yet committed themselves to attend. To those who have already committed - I look forward to seeing you all in Macau in November.
During the SIG meeting of the Gastronomy and Tourism Research Group in Barcelona on the 1st of November 2005, it was decided that Kevin Fields will take over the role as coordinator of the SIG from Jetske van Westeringen. We would like to thank Jetske for all her hard work in the last years of group and good luck to Kevin!
So please from now on, for more information about the SIG Gastronomy and Tourism Research Group, contact Kevin Fields at firstname.lastname@example.org..
Jetske van Westering
University of Surrey
The Gastronomy and Tourism Research Group was established at the expert meeting held in Portugal in March 2001, which was attended by 10 ATLAS members who made presentations to the International Gastronomy Conference organised by the Regional Tourist Board for the Alto Minho. The next meetings of the group took place respectively in Sondrio, Northern Italy (2002) and in Massignac, France (2003). During both meetings ways of developing research into the relationship between tourism and gastronomy were considered and the group resources for funding were discussed. The group has since then grown steadily.
- To provide a network for critical discourse on tourism and gastronomy
- To stimulate interest in the subject
- To identify specific strands for research in the subject
- To provide a platform for discussion of the subject between active researchers
- To promote collaborative research
- tourism and the sustainability of regional cuisine
- regional identity, gastronomy and tourism
- regional economic development through tourism and gastronomy
- (tourist) consumer behaviour, gastronomy and tourism
This year the annual T&G meeting is linked to the annual ATLAS conference, where the venue for the 2006 conference will be discussed.
Most members of this group are involved in research in this subject in their local area. However during the meetings we aim to discuss our current research and to identify possibilities for co-operative research. One such a plan is to produce a handbook on sustainable gastronomy routes; a conceptual framework to assist in the identification and the management of sustainable gastronomy tourist routes. For more information about the group and its meetings please contact Jetske van Westering (J.Van-Westering@surrey.ac.uk)
A.M. Hjalager and G. Richards (2001), Tourism and Gastronomy. London: Routledge
This year saw the T&G group grow in size by about a third. Ten members from diverse countries (USA, the Emirates, Hong Kong, as well as from Europe) joined the mailing list and/or attended the third annual meeting.
The annual meeting held last September in Massignac, Charente, France commenced with a welcome from the mayor of Massignac and an introduction to tourism in the Haut Charente area by the Director of the area Tourist Board. After this, visits to food producers and tourist sites, local gastronomic meals and academic papers followed each other up in high tempo. Remarkably few photos (see ATLAS web site) were taken during the presentation of papers, but all the more were taken in the restaurants and of food producers visited!
It has been proposed that the next G&T meeting will be hosted by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in September. An earlier plan of the group to instigate a joint research project into tourism and the sustainability of regional cuisine will then be taken forward. Other ideas for co-operation on research projects will be investigated during the meeting as well; proposals are welcome.