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The role of food tourism in sustaining regional identity: A case study of Cornwall, South West England

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sally Everett, Cara Aitchison

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-167
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Sustainable Tourism
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2008

King's Authors


This exploratory paper examines the role of food tourism in developing and sustaining regional identities within the context of rural regeneration, agricultural diversification and the creation of closer relationships between production and consumption in the countryside. It focuses on Cornwall, South West England, an area with rural development issues, increasing tourism impacts and contested issues of regional identity. A literature and policy analysis, and in-depth interviews with 12 restaurateurs, were undertaken in four popular tourist locations. Correlation was found between increased levels of food tourism interest and the retention and development of regional identity, the enhancement of environmental awareness and sustainability, an increase in social and cultural benefits celebrating the production of local food and the conservation of traditional heritage, skills and ways of life. The paper draws attention to three issues: the role of food tourism in increasing tourist spending, the potential role of food tourism in extending the tourist season, and the re-examination of food tourist typologies within a sustainability framework.

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