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Food and tourism: An effective partnership? A UK-based review

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sally Everett, Susan L. Slocum

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)789-809
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Sustainable Tourism
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2013

King's Authors


This paper focuses on the role of food tourism in delivering sustainability agendas by examining how the agriculture and tourism sectors have struggled to realise measurable successes because of constraints, conflicting ambitions and low levels of social capital. It focuses on the United Kingdom, which has tasked regional development agencies to adopt food tourism as a means to grow local economies, create jobs and improve natural resources and diversify. In 2009/10, 16 interviews and six workshops were conducted with stakeholders to gauge industry challenges and needs in implementing food tourism. Based on qualitative findings, a model was developed which maps five emergent themes (knowledge exchange, the supply chain, fear of change, regionalisation and marketing) alongside five sustainability principles (strong and just society, good governance, sustainable economy, working within environmental limits and using sound science responsibly). The paper argues that if food tourism is to deliver its purported sustainable benefits, the policy environment must cultivate significant social capital through the cooperation of different industries with varying needs, motivations and challenges through joint marketing schemes, more localised distribution channels and enhanced policy engagement. Scotland and Wales are more successful than England, but overall food and tourism are not yet in effective partnership.

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