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How to communicate typical-local foods to improve food tourism attractiveness

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Diana Gregory-SmithORCiD



This research focuses on the communication of typical–local foods and their consumption as a main motivation for travel experiences and driver of food tourism attractiveness. Past studies have provided an inconsistent understanding of this phenomenon and its underlying psychological processes. Others have called for research on more integrated and effective marketing communications about typical–local foods to increase destination attractiveness, help consumer decision-making processes and reduce information asymmetry in the food tourism market. Through the application of an integrated framework under the umbrella of signalling theory, we focus on various signals (e.g. ‘food security’, ‘trusting relationships’, ‘emotional value’) associated with three key features of typical–local foods: sustainability, geographical indications and healthiness. We use a combination of neuroscience techniques, including the implicit priming test, eye-tracking and electroencephalography, to investigate which signals are best at communicating typical–local foods’ distinctiveness. We find that consumers/tourists perceive healthiness as typical–local foods’ most engaging and attractive product feature, followed by geographical indications then sustainability. Specific signals impact people’s visual attention and cognitive engagement differently, with social and emotional attributes being most appealing. Therefore, food tourism managers should focus on these attributes in their communication campaigns to increase food tourism attractiveness and enhance travel experience.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Savelli E, Gregory-Smith D, Murmura F, Pencarelli T

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Psychology & Marketing

Year: 2022

Pages: epub ahead of print

Online publication date: 18/04/2022

Acceptance date: 06/04/2022

Date deposited: 09/04/2022

ISSN (print): 0742-6046

ISSN (electronic): 1520-6793

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


DOI: 10.1002/mar.21668

ePrints DOI: 10.57711/4qpq-c286


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