Presenza, Angelo and Del Chiappa, Giacomo (2013) Entrepreneurial strategies in leveraging food as a tourist resource: a cross-regional analysis in Italy. Journal of heritage tourism, Vol. 8 (2-3), p. 182-192. ISSN 1743-873X. eISSN 1747-6631. Article.
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When local food is resourced by restaurants that establish good relationships with other local stakeholders, this can enhance local food production, shape the place identity and image of a destination. While some of these aspects are beginning to receive scholarly attention, there is still too little research that examines the attitude of restaurants toward using and marketing local food as a way of promoting local identity and reinforcing the competitiveness of a destination. This is particularly the case in Italy where, to our best knowledge, there have been no studies published on this topic. This study aims at investigating to what extent restaurant managers are leveraging on local and typical food and what are the main barriers or constraints that, in their view, do not allow them to exploit fully local/typical food products as a positive means of attracting tourists or indeed make the most of opportunities to network with other local stakeholders. To achieve this, the present study draws on quantitative research carried out on a sample of restaurants selected in two Italian regions (Molise and Sardinia). Findings identify key variables in the relationship between local gastronomy, restaurants and the competitiveness of the destination.
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