Food tourism and the use of authenticity in Thailand

Lunchaprasith, T. and MacLeod, D. (2018) Food tourism and the use of authenticity in Thailand. Tourism, Culture and Communication, 18(2), pp. 101-116. (doi: 10.3727/109830418X15230353469492)

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Abstract

This article explores the concept of authenticity as it relates to its use by hosts at tourist destinations, the relationship between food and tourism, especially food produced and sold by market traders, and the various uses of authenticity by traders and tourists. It specifically aims to further our understanding of the use of authenticity in Thailand by stakeholders in a synergistic process, thereby filling a gap in research. Mixed research methods were used (interviews, questionnaires, and observation of the markets) with fieldwork totaling 6 months in Central Thailand. Eight different markets were chosen providing qualitative material leading to a sample of emic material on attitudes and approaches to authenticity, its construction, and utilization. It was found that authenticity, as it relates to traditional food markets, has been constructed by stakeholders. Authenticity may differ through the products, according to the personal experiences and motivations of the agents involved. Additionally, the tourists' experiences and expectations impact on the final product in an evolving process. It is recommended that traditional food may be further promoted in traditional markets by stimulating visitors' engagement in food culture. The article argues that authenticity, in its sociocultural constructivist context, is a relativistic phenomenon, which may be seen as existing in a continuum where there are degrees of authenticity.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:MacLeod, Dr Donald
Authors: Lunchaprasith, T., and MacLeod, D.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Interdisciplinary Studies
Journal Name:Tourism, Culture and Communication
Publisher:Cognizant Communication Corporation
ISSN:1098-304X
ISSN (Online):1098-304X
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 Cognizant LLC
First Published:First published in Interiors 2019
Publisher Policy:Reproduced with the permission of the publisher

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