Food consumption experiences: a framework for understanding food tourists’ behavioral intentions

Morteza Soltani, Nima Soltani Nejad*, Fatemeh Taheri Azad, Babak Taheri, Martin Joseph Gannon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This study aims to develop a framework to identify the drivers underpinning food tourists' behavioral intentions (BIs). This framework centers on examining how local food consumption value (TLFCV), local food experiential value (TLFEV) and social media influencers (SMIs) impact upon tourists’ attitudes toward local food (ATLF) and food destination image (FDI). The impact of ATLF and FDI on tourists’ BIs is also examined. Design/methodology/approach: PLS-SEM was used to test the hypothesized relationships using survey responses from 379 tourists visiting Rasht, Iran. Findings: The results demonstrate that TLFCV, TLFEV and SMIs can be used to populate a theoretical framework for predicting and understanding the factors influencing tourists’ ATLF and FDI. Specifically, positive ATLF and FDI stimulated positive BIs (e.g., intending to recommend Iranian food to others and intending to revisit Iran in future for culinary tourism purposes). Practical implications: The findings provide managers and practitioners within the culinary tourism industry with suggestions for how best to strategically market their offerings to increase inbound food tourism. Originality/value: This study is one of the first to empirically evaluate the drivers of food tourists' BIs, presenting a newly developed model for deployment in future research. Originality is also established by simultaneously investigating TLFCV and TLFEV within the context of food tourism.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Early online date30 Nov 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Nov 2020


  • Attitude toward food (ATF)
  • Behavioral intentions (BI)
  • Consumption value (CV)
  • Experiential value
  • Food destination image (FDI)
  • Food tourism
  • Social media influencers (SMI)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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