Exploring gastronomic tourism experiences through online platforms: evidence from Thai local communities

Publication Name

Tourism Recreation Research


Gastronomic (food) tourism is crucial for visitation and destination choices. Thailand tourism and its reputable cuisine can utilise the potential of online platforms as a channel to connect tourists to local communities. Despite massive online textual data in tourism, employing such insightful knowledge in theory and practice is still insufficient. This research explores gastronomic tourists’ experiences and their impacts on local communities in Thailand by conducting a qualitative approach to analyse local food experiences of gastronomic tourists’ reviews from five different online platforms. The results from 461 online reviews reveal positive tourists’ gastronomic experiences in Thailand. The gastronomic tourism offers and their contributions to local community destinations vary across online platforms. Additionally, all five online platforms facilitate the connection of gastronomic tourists and local people differently. In addition, the local online platforms offer a greater variety and uniqueness of gastronomic tourism experiences, including authentic food experiences, local interaction and community benefits, tailor-made cultural learning with locals, and social aspect of food that benefit local communities. This research benefits both tourism scholars and practitioners in filling the knowledge gap of employing available online tourism platforms to better understand, plan and design gastronomic tourism experiences in local communities.

Open Access Status

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