Regional Food as the Catalyst for Cultural Tourism in India

Regional Food as the Catalyst for Cultural Tourism in India

Priya Singh (Jamia Millia Islamia, India) and Ashaq Hussain Najar (Central University of Kashmir, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4330-6.ch006


Culture is playing an increasingly important role in tourism, and food is one of the key elements of culture. Tourists enjoy indigenous food, particularly items of local or ethnic nature. Furthermore, knowledge of the local, regional, and national cuisine has become an interest for tourists. The concept of consuming local food or drink is considered first-hand cultural experience, and it is on top of the tourist attraction list. In India, the promotion of food as a component of its destination attractiveness is in the budding phase. The context of this contribution is to underpin such linkages between tourism and food that can add to the cultural value of the destinations. The present empirical research is aimed to explore the role of food, culture, and tourism in sustaining the tourism of India. The current study will also attempt to address the role of regional food in promoting the cultural tourism of a particular destination. Further, the study will explore how the local food helps the tourist to recall the cultural heritage of a tourist's destination.
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Culinary tourism has emerged in recent decades, although food has been closely associated with travel from ancient times. Food has undergone remarkable changes over the time and is no more confine to a status of basic survival necessity, it is being associated with culture, rituals, wealth and experience (Tannahill,2002). The transfer of food across cultures has contributed towards the formation of cultural identities and social hierarchies (Pilcher, 2006). “Culinary tourism is defined as the desire to explore, experience and relish the food of a particular region (Hall & Sharples, 2003) and attract large number of gastronomic tourists” (Okumus& McKercher,2007).Food has been identified as a means for regional development, strengthening the local produce and it also aids in achieving the sustainable tourism.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Cultural Tourism: It is a type of tourism in which tourist travel to a destination to experience cultural attractions like fairs, festivals, food, arts, etc.

Culinary Tourism: It is a type of tourism in which tourist travels with a purpose of exploring food of a destination. It is also known as food tourism or gastro tourism.

Cuisine: It is a style of cooking a particular food of a particular region. For ex: Chinese Cuisine, French Cuisine, Indian Cuisine, etc.

Regional Food: It is the local food available at a particular region. It may vary as per the geographical locations of the regions.

Gastronomy: It is the art of preparing the food of a particular region. It also studies the relationship between food and culture.

Gastro Tourists: They are the food enthusiasts who travel to places for exploring food of the regions.

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