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

Sally Everett*, Susan L. Slocum

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    102 Citations (Scopus)


    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.

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


    • agriculture
    • food tourism
    • policy
    • social capital
    • United Kingdom


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