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Gastronomy and Creative Entrepreneurship in Rural Tourism (Gastrocert)

Within the field of rural development, localized specialty agriculture and small-scale entrepreneurship are increasingly promoted as means by which rural economy, culture and ecosystems can be sustained. The growing popularity of developing and implementing gastronomy efforts, as part of broader rural sustainable tourism development strategies, calls for the study of the dynamics between ‘heritage’, ‘tourism’ and ‘creative entrepreneurship’. In response this study examined the role that natural and cultural heritage plays in the development and promotion of local gastronomy. The project explored how the promotion of regional gastronomy can enhance the sustainability of local/regional food systems and support the building of stronger regions and regional identities in rural areas through localized food production. In doing this, the project contributed insight into a) how the agro-food and the tourism sectors mobilize and initiate the (re)definition and (re)valorization of heritage to build competitive products with credible touch and b) explored how this was employed to create experiences and products for a diverse array of consumers, including tourists as well as local residents.

Aims and Objectives

This project aimed to explore:

  • How the development of local gastronomy can help to protect rural heritage values
  • How entrepreneurial culture can enhance locally produced food as a value-added touristic experience

Project Team and Partners

Principal Investigator:

Annelie Sjölander-Lindqvist, University of Gothenburg


Peter Varley, Northumbria University, Newcastle

Postdoctoral Researcher:

Dr Anna de Jong, University of Glasgow

Project Publications and Links

  • de Jong, A., Palladino, M., Garrido Puig, R., Romeo, G., Fava, N., Cafiero, C., Skoglund, W., Varley, P., Marciano, C., Laven, D. & Sjolander-Lindqvist, A. (2018) ‘Gastronomy tourism: An interdisciplinary literature review of research areas, disciplines and dynamics’, Journal of Gastronomy and Tourism, 3(2), 131-146.

  • de Jong, A. & Varley, P. (2018) ‘Food tourism and events as tools for social sustainability?’, Journal of Place Management & Development, 3(2), 131-146.

  • de Jong, A. & Varley, P. (2018) ‘Foraging tourism: critical moments in sustainable consumption’, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 26(4), 685-701.

  • de Jong, A. & Varley, P. (2017) ‘Food tourism policy: deconstructing boundaries of taste and class’, Tourism Management, 60, 212-222.