Browsing by Subject "gastronomy"

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  • Särkkä-Tirkkonen, Anne Marjo Kaarina; Mynttinen, Sinikka; Logrén, Johanna; Rautiainen, Teija (Association for Tourism and Leisure Education and Research, 2015)
    Russians are the largest national group among tourists visiting Finland, even after the recent downturn caused by the economic situation/devaluation of the Ruble. Russian tourists in Finland spend money mainly on food, household goods, sweets and children's clothing. Thus, food is a fundamental element of the holiday experience. Finnish food products are highly valued by Russians, and, therefore, Russian tourists are an interesting target group in order to understand the perceptions of authenticity better in relation to local food as a tourism experience. Moreover, the research focused on this topic has been quite scarce so far. Foods and drinks engage all the senses and have strong connections with place, because we have personal, sensory memories of consuming them in a certain setting. It can be argued that food has an ability to recall emotions and that is why tourists often search for authentic experiences via food products. Furthermore, they buy food e.g. as souvenirs in order to relive the holiday events with family and friends at home. Among Russian tourists also cross-border food tourism is common based on perceptions of high-quality foodstuffs and authenticity of the products in their original environment. The process of forming the perception of an authentic food experience is very sensitive. An essential element in this process is trust, which is founded upon past experiences and knowledge and, at the same time, upon expectations for the future. Further, it is proposed that together with pre-contractual trust, trust in individuals and collective entities plays a role in the process of creating predictability. Thus, tourists’ perceptions of authenticity of local food are argued to relate to their trust in the food chain as a whole as well as in its actors: farmers, processors of food, restaurants, retail and the control system. This study applies qualitative methods to reach a more in-depth understanding of Russian tourists’ relations to local food during their visit to Finland, especially, their trust in its authenticity. The results show that there is an interaction between the three forms of trust and perceived authenticity of local food among Russian tourists. The perceived authenticity and trust, accordingly, seem to be based on a positive image of Finnish food throughout the post-soviet period, the institutional performance of the Finnish food system as well as one’s own and other’s experiences.