This study aims to develop a framework to identify the drivers underpinning food tourists' behavioral intentions (BIs). This framework centers on examining how local food consumption value (TLFCV), local food experiential value (TLFEV) and social media influencers (SMIs) impact upon tourists’ attitudes toward local food (ATLF) and food destination image (FDI). The impact of ATLF and FDI on tourists’ BIs is also examined.Design/methodology/approachPLS-SEM was used to test the hypothesized relationships using survey responses from 379 tourists visiting Rasht, Iran.FindingsThe results demonstrate that TLFCV, TLFEV and SMIs can be used to populate a theoretical framework for predicting and understanding the factors influencing tourists’ ATLF and FDI. Specifically, positive ATLF and FDI stimulated positive BIs (e.g., intending to recommend Iranian food to others and intending to revisit Iran in future for culinary tourism purposes).Practical implicationsThe findings provide managers and practitioners within the culinary tourism industry with suggestions for how best to strategically market their offerings to increase inbound food tourism.Originality/valueThis study is one of the first to empirically evaluate the drivers of food tourists' BIs, presenting a newly developed model for deployment in future research. Originality is also established by simultaneously investigating TLFCV and TLFEV within the context of food tourism.
International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 22, 2021
Keywords: Food tourism; Attitude toward food (ATF); Behavioral intentions (BI); Consumption value (CV); Food destination image (FDI); Social media influencers (SMI); Experiential value
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