Culinary attributes and technological utilization as drivers of place authenticity and branding: the case of Vascitour, Naples

Demetris Vrontis, Gianpaolo Basile, Mario Tani, Alkis Thrassou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: This paper aims to identify and elucidate the culinary territorial (regional) characteristics that may support the development of stakeholder relations with and perceptions of a territorial system. It further focuses on these support interactions between destination managers and stakeholders and how online technology can transform them into a word-of-mouth source. Design/methodology/approach: The authors present a theoretical framework, stemming from a case study of a tour operator and its technological (social media, etc.) dynamics on the relational aspects between destination management and stakeholders. Through a combination of qualitative tools and secondary data analysis, this paper analyzes the interrelationships of authenticity and place-as-brand concept, considered as the set of human characteristics associated with a brand in a “living like” travel experience. Findings: Culinary tourism is seen as a relevant and significant factor in facilitating interaction between the destination community and its stakeholders, and a meaningful element, which when technologically communicated and enhanced, strengthens both the perception and the brand image of a destination. Practical implications: Such new technology-enhanced insights into tourists’ experience could be exploited to plan and implement destination management and development strategies in a way that would be expected, accepted and welcomed by stakeholders, including tourists themselves. In this context, this paper presents and prescribes the role of culinary characteristics and stakeholder relationship management to develop new culinary business models and different destination community approaches toward practical implementation at both the individual (business) and the collective (authorities) levels. Originality/value: The proposed framework fills the gap in the role of culinary tourism resources particularly in those areas where food has no viable certification even if it essentially constitutes a manifestation of traditions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Place Management and Development
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • Authenticity
  • Culinary tourism
  • Food
  • Place branding
  • Place marketing
  • Stakeholders
  • Technology

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