Street Food as a Special Interest and Sustainable Form of Tourism for Southeast Asia Destinations

Street Food as a Special Interest and Sustainable Form of Tourism for Southeast Asia Destinations

Bintang Handayani (Independent Researcher, Indonesia), Hugues Seraphin (The University of Winchester, UK), Maximiliano Korstanje (University of Palermo, Argentina) and Manuela Pilato (University of Winchester, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7393-7.ch005
OnDemand PDF Download:
No Current Special Offers


Sustainable development is an objective that every destination is aiming at. This chapter provides evidence that street food, as a special interest for of tourism, if appropriately explored, has the potential to contribute significantly to the sustainable tourism development of Southeast Asia, and more generally to emerging destinations. Within this context, there is an opportunity to convert street food into a tourism resource that can align with the SDGs of the UNWTO. From a management point of view, this chapter highlights the fact that destination marketing organisations need to rethink the type of products and services offered to visitors and more importantly how they advertise themselves. The priority should be given to products and services that are not only authentic but also meet the needs of visitors and locals alike. On an academic level, this chapter contributes to the existing meta-literature on tourism sustainability by presenting street food as an example of good practice.
Chapter Preview


The quest for sustainability in tourism continues to be a priority for both established and emerging destinations, given the potential of the industry in generating socio-economic advantages (Cooper & Hall, 2008). Reviews and reports increasingly confirm the sustainability issues faced by tourism destinations due to the depleting nature of the industry (see World Economic Forum, 2017; United Nations World Tourism Organisation, 2017; United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2003). Despite the research carried by practitioners and researchers, gaps are still present. Among these are, how the tourism industry can address and/or align with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and more specifically with goal 1 (No Poverty), 5 (Gender Equality), 8 (Decent work and Economic Growth), 10 (Reduced Inequalities), 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), which clearly articulate the need for sustainability in various areas of tourism (UNWTO, 2016; United Nations Global Compact Network Spain, 2016). None of the strategies developed so far have taken into account street food (a cultural tourism resource). Furthermore, as early as in the year 2003, the UNDESA Report - ‘A New Approach to Sustainable Tourism Development: Moving Beyond Environmental Protection’ – highlighted the need of adopting new approach in sustainability models and of giving greater priority to community participation and poverty alleviation (DESA, 2003; UN, 2003). In addition, in the past few years, significant attention has been given to the growing significance of food tourism, as well as the role of contemporary culture in urban regeneration and renewal linked to tourism (World Tourism Organization, 2012b; World Tourism Organization (2015e). Furthermore, the demand for street food around the world is growing (Gupta, Khanna, Gupta, 2018). However, limited attention has been given to street food as a sustainable form of tourism so far. When street food is discussed, it is done mainly to highlight issues related to food safety and health hazards in food vending sites.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Street Food: Type of food that is part of the life of many local communities. It is also a type of food that has a strong potential to meet the needs to visitors. Street food contributes to locals and visitors’ happiness.

Special Interest Tourism: A set of customised tourism activities which could potentially cater for the specific interest group in a particular destination.

Sustainable Tourism: Any form of tourism that meets the needs of local residents and visitors.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book: