Use of Food-Themed Films in Destination Selection

Use of Food-Themed Films in Destination Selection

Aysu Altaş (Aksaray University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5357-1.ch017
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Films are one of the most important actors of popular culture and have the ability to influence many people worldwide in a short period of time. Due to this feature of films, people may be disposed to visit the locales in the films they are watching, or the places where films are shot. With this increasing trend in recent years, people choose their destinations in the direction of films they are influenced by. In addition to learning many places to sightsee, people can also have information about the cuisine culture and restaurants of countries where films are filmed and can visit the places being talked about. Countries can create a destination image through food-themed films, and they can take place near the top in destination selections. In this study, it is mentioned the use of food-themed films in the destination selections and it is determined which countries are at the forefront in this regard through examination of the food-themed films.
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A movie is described as a work of art that is shown in cinemas (Turkish Language Sociaty, n.d). The movies are one of the most important actors of popular culture and have the feature of influencing many people worldwide in a short period of time. Because of this feature of the movies, people may act with the wish to visit the places where the events have occurred or the places where the movies are filmed. With this increasing tendency in recent years, people are choosing destinations in the direction of movies they are influenced by. In addition to learning about different locations to see, people also learn about the culinary cultures of the countries where the movies are filmed, restaurants in the country, and visit the relevant locations. So, the gastronomic cultures of the countries are phenomena that can be learned through cinema. Thanks to the movies, people are also able to learn about what is valued in their own culture, what to eat where, how to behave in a restaurant, as well as the eating and drinking habits of the cultures in the movies. Therefore, cinema provides various data for the cinema audiences about gastronomic culture as it does in many different areas (Akıncı Yüksel, 2016).

Recently, various studies have been carried out in Turkey regarding the place of the movies in terms of creating an image of a destination and in destination marketing. However, the number of studies conducted on food or gastronomy-themed movies is relatively small and yet very recent. This situation can be explained by the fact that gastronomy and culinary are popular in Turkey in recent years. Because until recent years people regard culinary as an ordinary profession learned by apprenticeship, while gastronomy was often mistaken with other sciences with similar names. Today, in favor of catching the speed of change of the world and meeting the needs of knowledge; gastronomy and culinary are fields that are recognized by everyone, emphasized sensitively, progressed and subjected to academic studies.

All tourists, particularly gastro-tourists traveling within the context of gastronomic tourism, can learn a lot about countries' cuisines, beverage cultures, restaurants and famous cooks thanks to the food-themed movies. Countries can create a destination image through food-themed movies, and by this way can be placed near the top in destination selection. In this study, it has been mentioned that how cinema, which is a mass communication medium, is used in terms of people’s choice of destinations by means of food-themed movies, and it has been commented on which food-themed movie can attract the tourists from which angles by examining few food-themed movies.

Mass Media

In basic terms, mass communication is a type of communication carried out with the help of one or more means such as radio, newspaper, television, and advertising panels. According to another definition, it is the process of setting the meaningful, heterogeneous mass that is created by the professional communicators in the direction of their aims in motion and influencing it by using certain means and through quick, instant and continuous messages.

Akıncı Yüksel (2016) mentioned in his study “Gastronomy in the Silver Screen: Cinema” that there are certain theories that have been suggested to examine and explain the interaction of audiovisual media, especially cinema, with audiences. The first theory is named “Taking a Model Theory”. According to this theory, an individual can adopt certain behaviors that he/she witnesses in certain situations to his/her own behavior in similar situations. For example, individuals may take stylish and elaborate tables as an example and they can prepare similar tables for their loved ones. The second theory is named “Social Expectations Theory”. This theory positions the mass media as a resource where social norms, roles, and expectations are learned. In other words, groups in society provide information about the rules of those groups or about certain environments, even the others are not members of such a group, or even if they have not been in such environments. For example, a person who has never seen a cuisine of a big restaurant's in his/her life can acquire knowledge about professional kitchens thanks to the movies. Even though there are some other theories about mass communication, the movies that are given as an example within the context of this study are often associated with the theories concerned.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Gastro-Tourist: A group of tourists with a high level of income and education, sophisticated, have a habit of dining out, and open to innovation and have an explorer characteristic. The urge of these people for traveling is formed by the interest in eating and drinking.

Gastronomy: Gastronomy is a scientific discipline that covers the studies of understanding, applying and developing of all the features of food and beverages in detail, by starting from the historical development process and adapting them to today's conditions.

Gastronomic Tourism: Gastronomic tourism is a type of tourism that is based on visiting food producers, food festivals, restaurants and special places in order to taste a special type of food, to watch a food being produced or to eat a food cooked by a famous chef, and today it is quite popular.

Destination: The place to which someone or something is going or being sent.

Slow Food: Slow food is a grassroots organization founded by Carlo Petrini in Italy in 1986. It has since spread worldwide. Promoted as an alternative to fast food, it strives to preserve traditional and regional cuisine and encourages farming of plants, seeds, and livestock characteristic of the local ecosystem.

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