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Abstract

Eating is a physiological need which requires fulfillment whether at home or during travel. The consumption of food in travel is unique because it occurs in a foreign environment (Mak, Lumbers & Eves, 2012). Recent research has shown that tourists spend almost 40% of their budget on food when traveling (Boyne, Williams, & Hall, 2002). The 2004 Restaurant & Foodservice Market Research Handbook states that 50% of restaurants’ revenue was generated by travelers (Graziani, 2003). It shows that there is a symbiotic relationship between food and the tourism industry. Reynolds (2004) asserts that food, like other elements of travel transportation, accommodation, activities, and attractions plays an essential role in the travel experience. As an attribute or creation of a destination, cuisine bears symbolic meaning and is a determinant of overall travel satisfaction (Henkel, Henkel, grusa, Agrusa& Tanner, 2006; Rimmington& Yüksel1998), when other forms of tourism has been saturated by the tourist. More importantly, food has been recognized as an effective promotional and positioning tool of a destination (Hjalager& Richards, 2002). Similarly, with increasing interest in local cuisine, more destinations are focusing on food as their core tourism product. For example, France, Italy, and Thailand have been known for their cuisine. Javier BlanceHerranz has classified the motivations of tourists into two broad categories – the internal stimuli or the push and the external stimuli or the pull.

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