From food to feet: Analysing A Bite of China as food-based destination image

Min Xu*, Sangkyun Kim, Stijn Reijnders

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article discusses the reception of the highly popular documentary television series A Bite of China among potential young domestic travellers. It aims to investigate how this series, and similar food- and culture-themed TV programmes, contributes to regional food-based destination images among the aforementioned class of travellers. The analysis of 15 semi-structured interviews with viewers suggests that the documentary can influence and change viewers’ perceptions of regional cuisine as well as local culture. Viewers engage in both cinematic and touristic consumption as they interpret the documentary. Credible food images aid the process of building perceptual images that distinguish a destination from other destinations, which in some cases also inspires viewers to actually visit the related destinations or locations. More particularly, this exploratory study shows how these travellers perceive food-based destination images not as an isolated phenomenon, but as an integral part of a broader place-identity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-165
Number of pages21
JournalTourist Studies
Volume20
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
A Bite of China as food-based destination image https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4749-6731 Xu Min Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2746-9952 Kim Sangkyun Edith Cowan University, Australia Reijnders Stijn Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands Min Xu, Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication, Erasmus University Rotterdam, P.O. Box 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Email: [email protected] 11 2019 1468797619888305 © The Author(s) 2019 2019 SAGE Publications This article discusses the reception of the highly popular documentary television series A Bite of China among potential young domestic travellers. It aims to investigate how this series, and similar food- and culture-themed TV programmes, contributes to regional food-based destination images among the aforementioned class of travellers. The analysis of 15 semi-structured interviews with viewers suggests that the documentary can influence and change viewers’ perceptions of regional cuisine as well as local culture. Viewers engage in both cinematic and touristic consumption as they interpret the documentary. Credible food images aid the process of building perceptual images that distinguish a destination from other destinations, which in some cases also inspires viewers to actually visit the related destinations or locations. More particularly, this exploratory study shows how these travellers perceive food-based destination images not as an isolated phenomenon, but as an integral part of a broader place-identity. audience reception Chinese food tourism destination image food-themed documentary media representation China Scholarship Council https://doi.org/10.13039/501100004543 edited-state corrected-proof Author contributions Each author has equally contributed to the manuscript from the research design to data collection and analysis to writing up. Funding The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This study was carried out with the financial support of the China Scholarship Council. ORCID iDs Min Xu https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4749-6731 Sangkyun Kim https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2746-9952

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2019.

Research programs

  • ESHCC A&CS

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