What is it about?
We use the concepts of serious leisure and terroir to examine how knowledge, physical environment, and service quality influence co-creation within the culinary tourism context. In contrast to casual leisure activities (e.g., shopping) serious leisure activities are reflective and recreational. The reflective dimension includes one’s reflections on oneself, one’s own knowledge, and one’s identity. The recreational dimension includes the enjoyment of an activity. Terroir is commonly referred to as the ‘taste of place’. We find that participants' prior knowledge strongly influences their reflective and recreational motives for participation (i.e., the benefits of serious leisure). Prior knowledge shapes how the physical environments and service quality is evaluated. This, in turn, influences value co-creation with the provider of the culinary activity - in our case cooking classes.
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Why is it important?
This study is important, as findings help to understand consumer's changing culinary experiences. Consumers' tastes have evolved; consumers are more aware of new flavours and ingredients, and during their holidays want to experience and learn more about destination-specific culinary heritage. Tourist destinations are linked to indigenous cuisine and tourists’ perceptions of destinations with established global culinary heritage (e.g., Italy, France) are influenced by their celebrated gastronomic offerings.
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This page is a summary of: A serious leisure perspective of culinary tourism co-creation: the influence of prior knowledge, physical environment and service quality, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, June 2020, Emerald, DOI: 10.1108/ijchm-10-2019-0897.
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A Serious Leisure Perspective of Culinary Tourism Co-Creation: The Influence of Prior Knowledge, Physical Environment, and Service Quality
Abstract Purpose: Recognising tourists’ increasing desire for authentic destination-specific experiences, the hospitality industry has responded by increasing provision of innovative culinary activities. This study uses the concepts of serious leisure and terroir to examine how knowledge, physical environment, and service quality influence co-creation within the culinary tourism context. Design/methodology/approach: Following cooking class participation, 575 domestic Iranian tourists were surveyed. These educational classes provide opportunities to learn about local foods alongside peers in an interactive setting. Consistent with the benefits of serious leisure, this consumption context could prove conducive to stimulating co-creation. Findings: Prior knowledge strongly influences tourists’ reflective and recreational motives for participation (i.e., the benefits of serious leisure). This shapes how tourists evaluate physical environments and service quality therein; influencing value co-creation and supporting serious leisure as the conceptual lens through which to understand experiential culinary consumption. Research implications: The proposed conceptual model was tested on domestic tourists following class participation. However, in suggesting that visually-stimulating, tactile premises with olfactory appeal can encourage co-created experiences, the findings are relevant to service touch-point management more generally. Originality/value: Recognizing the influential role played by the physical and social aspects of experiential consumption, the serious leisure framework improves extant understanding of value co-creation. Keywords: co-creation; culinary tourism; physical environment; serious leisure; service quality; prior knowledge
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