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The Behavioral Intention of Tourists toward Local Foods: An Applied Research on the Local Foods Served in Egyptian Siwa Oasis

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DOI: 10.4236/jssm.2019.126049    107 Downloads   230 Views  

ABSTRACT

Local food linked to every tourist destination in Egypt represents a cultural image of this destination and reflects many of its heritage dimensions. The aim of this study is to explore the impact of tourists’ satisfaction of local food experiences and their behavioral intention related to Siwa oasis’ local foods as an approach to provide an integrated framework of international promotional plan of Siwa local food. A field survey questionnaire was developed and distributed to 62 tourists who are interested in Siwa Oasis. While the results showed no impact of good memorable local food experience in hosting destination on respondents’ behavior intentions to share their experiences to motivate others to try local food, other results showed statistically significant impact of such good memorable on respondents’ behavior intentions to use the same food items and cooking styles in their homes, to search the same food items in their home countries, to dine in restaurants that serve these items and to return again to the destination to retry the same local food. The research verifies the major opportunities of Siwa oasis local cuisine. These opportunities are analyzed carefully to provide an integrated framework of international promotional plan of Siwa local food.

1. Introduction

Traditional food and cuisine are represented as an important component in tourism. They are combined to be a major factor in attracting tourists, especially in case of rural and resorted destinations. Because food represents as entertainment and cultural activities, local food experience adds value to the overall tourism experience of the travelers, makes the tourism journey more unique [1], helps in the differentiation of tourist destinations and leads to the emergence of “food tourism” as an attractive modern tourist style that is popular among the new generation of tourists [2].

Gastronomy can be considered as a key of understanding other cultures [3]. Local food is a fundamental component of the tourism experience of travelers. As many tourists take the decision to visit one destination motivated by their desire to try the local people lifestyle, experiencing local food is essential. Among 20 studied factors that direct the decision of traveling among tourists, the served food and drinks ranked at the 4th. By calculating the correlation coefficient between overall tourist’s satisfaction and local food offered, results showed a strong positive significant relationship. Therefore, the study recommended that food should be considered as a good predictor of tourist’s satisfaction [4].

Although food is an essential part of the classic tourism product, as it represents almost one-third of the expenditure of tourists, the uniqueness of the offered food product in many destinations has led to the emergence of a new growing international tourist pattern that called “food tourism”, where the food product provided at the tourist destination is the main attraction of the tourist trip or at least is one of the main reasons why people travel to specific tourist destinations [5].

The term “food tourism” arises to mind when food is a primary or secondary motivator to travel [6]. It belongs a new tourism type that called “culinary tourism”, “gastronomy tourism” [7] or “food tourism” [8] and expressed “tourists who travel to a specific destination to experience specific foods that reflects the authenticity of the destinations’ heritage and culture” [9]. To determine the concept of “food tourism”, it is important to distinguish between the behaviors of tourists who eat local foods as a part of their trip experience and others who come to destination only to experience their local food. Therefore, “food tourism” which called “culinary tourism” may be defined as “visiting destinations for the purpose of gaining gastronomic experiences and enjoying unique local food and beverage” [10]. Thus, not all visits to restaurants in the local community can be categorized as a food tourism case. It is about interesting in culinary, gastronomy or local cuisine when choosing the tourist destination.

As it relates to any travelling that motivated by interests in tasting specific food items, using food ingredients, learning unique cooking methods and styles, purchasing unique food products, attending cooking training courses or food and beverage festivals, watching cooking shows and experiencing food production techniques, food tourism is defined as “traveling to certain tourist destinations offering a unique food product to test unique dishes as a part of a tourist experience that aims to experience the cultural heritage of this tourist destination” [11]. It is “the travelling to taste and experience food items of a specific region” [12].

Many literature attributed the steady growth of food tourism in our present time to the lack of time for people to cook their own food, so the inclusion of interest in food as a part of the tourism experience is important because of the entertaining dimension of watching the cooking as a process that reflects the characteristics of the tourist destination as part of the overall tourist’s comprehensive experience in the destination, where lives the same lifestyle of citizens of the host community and eat their food [13].

Despite the globally growth of food tourism, some believe that food tourism will witness an unprecedented growth in the near future as a major component of the popular culture of the host communities. This will add an unique competitive advantage that differentiates the tourist destinations with distinctive cultural and heritage patterns, which is due to the constant and diligent search by tourists interested in heritage for everything that is unique and distinctive [14]. Therefore, investigating tourists’ intentions and perception toward local cuisine will provide a behavioral framework that leads to more exploitation of local cuisine as a vital tourism attraction.

For no logic reasons, food tourism has been neglected for many years in hospitality literature. While gastronomy is represented as an important factor influencing overall tourism experience, studies that addressed the phenomenon of tourists’ gastronomy experiences are limited. The main reason behind such ignorance may be back to the traditional looking at the food as a secondary factor of tourism activity rather than a major tourism attraction in itself [15]. A review of previous literatures indicates that most studies are about investigating the relations between tourism and different destinations’ cultural aspects rather than local foods and cuisine [16] [17] [18]. Furthermore, there is a shortage in researches that investigated the role of local cuisine as a marketing tool of destinations and its direct influence on the development of destinations [19].

Moreover, the studies conducted to examine customer behavior towards the local food usually addressed only one single factor as an influential. This factor may be tourist experience toward food [20] [21], tourist motivators to consume local food [22], tourist perceptions of local cuisine experiences or tourist satisfaction [23] [24]. Thus, there is no study that focused on the majority of these combined factors.

There is a relative scarcity of empirical researches that examined local foods’ dining experience and its impacts on tourists’ behaviors [25]. The majority of studies that had been done to explore tourist behavior is often neglected the influences of local cuisine and foods. Therefore, there is a huge gap in field of local food tourism research literature, especially in regards to consumer behavior [26]. In addition, a review of literatures had been showed limited empirical studies that investigated the behaviors among tourists related to the consumption of local foods [27].

Furthermore, the majority of studies that examined tourist behavior towards the local food are done in or on Asian destinations [28], especially in or on China [29] [30], Thailand [31] [32], Hong Kong China [33], Taiwan China [34] [35], India [36], Singapore [37], Malaysia [38] [39] and Indonesia [40]. Thus there are limited studies in or on Africa [41] [42] and no studies in or on Arab and Egyptian tourist destinations.

This previous review emphasizes on theoretical benefit of this study that categorize the potential tourists’ behaviors toward food tourism regarding Siwa. Such categorization could be assist in producing a general framework for behaviors related to local food in other similar destinations. The value of this research paper is explored by its contribution on presenting a guide of tourists’ behaviors toward local food belongs Siwa oasis as a developed tourist destination. The research also focuses on defining potential tourists behaviors regarding Siwa local food. Achieving this aim could be relayed on in the process of marketing Siwa as a tourist destination. It helps various stakeholders involved in Siwa’s tourism industry (e.g. governmental agencies, hospitality and tourism establishments and other Local and foreign business operators) making various strategic plans related to tourism development in the destination.

This research aims to: explore the impact of guest’s satisfaction about local food experiences and their behavioral intention toward Siwa oasis’ local Foods, identify the extent of acceptance to experience Siwa oasis local food among tourists, identify the extent of possibility of depending on local food of Siwa as a marketing tool to attract visitors and tourists, verify the opportunities of Siwa oasis local cuisine in supporting the tourism demand for the destination and provide a framework of international promotional plan of Siwa local food. Thus, the research problem could be illustrated in the following questions: what are the impacts of guest’s satisfaction about local food experiences on their behavioral intention toward Siwa oasis’ local Foods? What is the extent of tourists’ acceptance to experience Siwa oasis local food? In what extent local cuisine could contribute in tourism development in Siwa oasis? Are there any real valuable opportunities for marketing Siwa depending on its’ local food? If any, what are these opportunities and how to exploit?

2. Literature Review

2.1. Food Tourism Classification

According to their interactions with food, tourists can be classified into the followings [43] :

- Existential Gastronomy Tourists: They believe that their gastronomy skills can be improved through local food and beverage experiencing. Therefore, eating local food means acquisition in-depth knowledge about the culture and heritage of the destination. Thus, this type of tourists seeks to eat only in places where local residents eat and appreciate only the local food that is follow traditions in preparation.

- The Experimental Gastronomy Tourists: They search for fashionable and trendy foods that related to their lifestyles. They dine in restaurants and cafes that satisfy their social needs related to prestige.

- The Recreational Gastronomy Tourists: They don’t prefer local food. They tend to dine in modern complex restaurants.

- The Diversionary Gastronomy Tourists: They seek quantity and easy accessible food. Therefore, they prefer to dine in international chain restaurants with familiar menu items.

In the same context, tourists can be classified into [44] :

- Gourmet Tourists: A group of tourists who love food and drink. They prefer luxury restaurants and high-quality drinks. They don’t looking for cheap food.

- Gastronomic/Culinary tourists: Includes travelers who follow unique food culture experiences and travel to attend food, drink and cooking festivals.

- Cuisine tourists: This group is interested in certain foods related to a particular region, country or destination.

In regards to food tourism and for more accuracy, there are four distinguished types’ food tourists [45] :

- Recreational Food Tourists: They seek the pleasure through dining out and feel happy when trying unfamiliar items of foods during their trip.

- Diversionary Food Tourists: They seek food items that differ from that usual in their everyday life.

- Experiential Food Tourists: They seek innovative food types and enjoy trying new ingredients, unique eating styles and novel preparing methods.

- Existential Food Tourists: They consider experiencing food as a learning way that develops their knowledge about the local destination’s culture.

2.2. Local Food Experiences

There are three elements that lead to the success of tourist’s food experience which are “locality”, “authenticity” and “novelty”. Thus, these elements are the key factors in distinction between the real local foods and other food items presented to the tourist during the trip. Those who seeking for foods with these three elements are called “foodies” [46].

The term “authenticity” is associated with terms as “real”, “origin” and “trustworthy” [47]. Tourists, in general, searching for authentic experiences during their trip to feel different life and gain amazing memories [48]. Thus, evaluating the overall trip experience depends on the extent of authenticity of all component of such experience [49] [50].

Local food can be invested to be an attractive tool that adds value to the tourist destination. In our sophisticated life, tourists often travel to escape the shortage of authenticity in modern life. Thus, discovering more authentic destinations with unique experiences is the major factor influencing tourism phenomenon in recent as local food experiences supports authenticity of the trip. Thus, local food can support the integrated tourism experiences in many ways [51] :

- Linking Tourism to Culture: Local food is represented as a gate to destination’s culture that supplies both tourists and locals with an opportunity to share cultural experience. Thus, food conveys local customs and traditions.

- Adding Value to the Meal Experience: Meals and dining are in a central in the integrated tourist experience. Thus, local food adds value to the overall tourists’ experience by creating meaningful and memorable experiences.

- Serving Distinctive Foods: Local foods are considered to be distinctive elements that support branding the image of destination that helps creating a strategic competitive advantage in the international marketplace.

- Sustaining Local Culture: Local food can develop local culture by providing the necessary capital for sustaining culture.

2.3. Market Segmentation, Destination Branding and Economic Aspects Related to Local Food Tourism

Profiling of food tourists in one destination couldn’t be typically copied to another. Tourists’ market can be classified according to their interest in food provided in the host community into five main groups [52] :

- Food Tourists: Those who traveling mainly for testing and experiencing unique local foods and drinks. Those are about 3% of international travelers.

- Interested Purchasers: Those who believe that local food and drinks contribute to the satisfaction of their tourist experience. Thus, they seeking for local food when travelling.

- Un-Reached: Those who believe that local food and drink may contribute to the satisfaction of their tourist holiday. Thus, they may try local food if the opportunity arises.

- Un-Engaged: Those who believe that local food mayn’t add any value to their tourist holiday, but they aren’t refuse to try local foods.

- Laggards: Those who avoid trying local food when travelling.

Food is interlinked with dining habits and social practices of nations and integrated with their traditions and history [53]. Therefore, national food presents a comprehensive view of any destination [54]. The successful globalization of national food should begin with the successful presentation of such food in the local destination itself [55]. The development of mass tourism due to the globalization provides a valuable opportunity for all local products, including local foods, to be known and integrated in the unique cultural history. Depending on this approach, local foods can be copied and globalised to be used for marketing purposes in branding destinations [56] [57]. Generally, there are two results of food experience among tourists, which are:

- Food Image Exposure: Local foods are a major factor in creating the overall tourism experiences as they reflect the destination image and its intangible cultural heritage [58]. Food is deeply expressed the regions heritage and show the destinations distinctiveness compared with other destinations [59]. Integrating food with other local features (i.e. in case of Japanese and Chinese cuisines) is considered as an effective way in developing new gastronomical destination brand. Strong exposure to ethnic food in modern communities helps in globalizing such food and support nations to franchise their cuisine in the world that increasing people willingness to travel to its country of origin [60]. From this point of view, local foods are represented as a strong competitive criterion that could be used to enhance the destination image in the way that motivates tourist’s revisit intention [61].

- Information Sources and Sharing: Word-of-Mouth (WOM) has been represented as a key aspect in travelling decision making. Therefore, tourist who discovers new tourist’s products and destinations acts as an opinion leader through sharing his experiences to other relatives. Food products that reflect destinations’ heritage are like other tourist’s products affected by WOM and help the formation of travelling decision to any destinations. This can be clearly notices as in cases of Turkey, Hong Kong China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan China and Thailand where WOM regarding their local food contributes effectively in marketing them as unique tourist destinations [62].

There are strong developmental impacts of food tourism on the local economy of the host destination. Unlike other tourism types, food tourism occurs at any time of the year and during any weather condition. It isn’t suffered from seasonality that influences most tourism types. It is a high yield tourism type that provides any host community with the following economic advantages [63] :

- Help achieving the diversification of resources in rural economies that has few options of development and create more jobs for residents.

- Attract tourists with high expenditure ratios that help strengthening other elements of the local economy and give an extension to the tourist season.

- Help sustaining the cultural heritage of the community and the local environment.

- Generally, it needs no new investment.

- Push other economic sectors and create structural inter-linkages with other agriculture, construction, industry and service sectors.

2.4. Local Food and Culture Heritage

Consuming local food not only increases tourists’ knowledge about the local cuisine, but also motivates them to involve in the whole destination’s local culture [64]. Thus, local food can be promoted as an icon that reflects the common cultural and heritage of the destination. It can provide the destination with a brand that works stronger than the national dress. The uniqueness of local food nowadays plays a major role in tourist destination selection. Local food heritage depends on combining the local lifestyle, culture and tradition into unique appealing memorable experiences [65]. It’s about the taste of experience not the taste of food.

While some literatures suggested that destinations’ cultural similarity motivates people to visit them because of similar background, language or religion [66], many other literatures confirmed that the cultural contrast leads to more tourists’ interest in destinations [67] as the tourism activity itself depends on the philosophy of diversification and differentiation.

There are reasons why culinary tourism is represented as an important aspect of local destination’s cultural heritage. These reasons are [68] :

- All of foreign tourists tend to dine out when traveling.

- Dining out represented as one of the most three popular travelers’ activities.

- Culinary tourists are tending to participate in the majority of outdoor recreational activities.

- Interest in culinary tourism expands to all age groups.

- Food attractions can be offered all year round regardless of seasonality.

- Local cuisine can be the major or at least the secondary factor in motivating tourist to choose the destination.

Local food strongly contributes into the integrated satisfaction of tourist during the trip [69]. It has emerged to offer a complete and perfect sensory experience to tourists. It is also represented as an important reflector of all social, environmental and cultural image of the local destination. Thus, to understand any nation’s style of life, it is necessary to understand their food culture [70].

While a meal is considered as an event in itself, many other events like festivals, exhibitions and celebrations can’t be completed without offering food [71]. Such events can be planned and developed to support local food experiences. Culinary festivals, slow food salons, food fashion exhibition and online food platforms are examples of how special events can contribute in promoting local foods [72]. Such events act as innovative promotional tools that provide real opportunities to promote local foods to the world and give the chance to knowledge and experience exchange.

2.5. Factors Affecting Local Food Tourism

Designing better local food products need better understanding of various factors affecting tourists’ behavior toward such type of products [73]. Generally, there are three main factors that influence local food consumption among tourists in the host destinations:

2.5.1. Demographic Factors

No one can deny the role of demographic factors in directing people’s selection of food product. Factors like age, gender, marital status [74], education level and religious beliefs, for example, have a vital effect on food preference and consumption [75].

Depending on their origin, tourists have different approaches toward culinary experience. However, tourists from Eastern cultures tend to avoid dining in restaurants that serving local foods, others from Western cultures are more tending to experience novel foods that are unfamiliar to them [76]. In relation to income and education level, tourists with higher income and education levels are tending to try local gastronomy in touristic destinations because they don’t consume food only to satisfy their physical needs, but also to discover the destination’s local culture through its local dishes [77]. In reference to age impact, tourists with lower ages are tending to discover and try more than higher age categories. Therefore, they are tending to dine in restaurants that served local food [78].

Tourist gender is important in relation to local food preference, especially in case of meat items and low-calorie food [79]. Males are generally more interested in local food consumption than females as consumption of local foods among females influencing by their weight concerns and low-calorie preferences [80]. Females also are more involved in food safety when compared to males who are focused on taste of local food [81]. With indication to marital status, single females are interested in trying and recommending their local food experiences than married females [82].

2.5.2. Motivational Factors

There are many motivational factors that impact tourists’ gastronomic behavior and influence the integrated tourists’ satisfaction levels [83]. There are some motivational factors like exciting experience, escaping from routine, discovering new things and authentic experience that directing the gastronomic consumption during touristic trip. Tourism gastronomic motivations can be classified into two main categories [84] :

- Symbolic: It refers to learning about local culture, exciting experience, authenticity and prestige.

- Compulsory: It refers to physical needs and health concerns.

According to this classification, experiencing local gastronomy is represented as a symbolic dimension. Depending on such motivational factors, tourists can be categorized according to food-related behaviors into [85] :

- Experiencers: Those who consider food as an essential criterion in destination selection.

- Enjoyers: Those who have positive attitudes towards local food.

- Survivors: Those who consume local food to cover their physiological needs.

In line with that, most tourists, who travelling to unique destinations with special heritage, prefer to eat at authentic places rather than in international restaurants [86].

2.5.3. Psychological Factors

Overlapping with many motivational factors, there are many psychological factors that influence local food consumption during trips. These factors are about the personality of the tourist himself, the previous exposure to the same experience, the seeking for more variety and the desire to escape from routine lifestyle [87].

In relation to previous exposure, many tourists prefer foods they eat before in the same destination. While many tourists when travelling to Asia prefer to stay in modern hotel chains to avoid local strange foods, others who are in continuous search for novelty choose novel local foods [88]. To conclude the situation, there are two psychological dimensions that control local food consumption among tourists:

- Food Neophobia: Dislike tasting novel foods [89].

- Food Neophilia: Curiosity and willingness to taste novel food. It is described to be a push factor that motivates many tourists to try local food and encourage food tourism phenomenon [90].

2.6. The Impact of Local Food on Tourist’s Behavioral Intention

Generally, the behavioral intention of an individual refers to the tendency of him to exhibit his behavior. Thus, it is basic for any human action to be occurred as it reflects the individual mental status before adopting behavior. Satisfaction of local food experience during their trip motivates tourists to take one or more of the following behaviors:

- Using the same food items and cooking styles in their homes [91], searching the same food items in their home countries and dining in restaurants that serve these items [92].

- Returning again to the destination motivated by their desire to retry the same local food [93] [94].

- Sharing their food experiences toward local food that motivate others to interest in the culture of the destination [95] [96].

- Recommended the destination itself to other relevant [97] [98].

2.7. The Future of Local Food Tourism

Recently, there are increasing numbers of tourists who traveled for enjoying and exploring local featured cuisine and food to experience memorable delicacies. Because of its impact on the overall destination image, quality cuisine is arising as an important relevant that affect the destination choosing process [99]. In 2017, the UNWTO reported that gastronomy tourism represented more than 30% of total revenue of gastronomy in tourism destinations. This revenue margin would expect to grow in the near future as gastronomy would be a distinctive element of destination [100]. At any tourism destination, food products nowadays became an essential attraction factor that helps the process of destination profiling [101].

There are increasing numbers of tourists that targeting not only to sate their appetite but also to enjoy food experience [102]. Gastronomic tourists consider local cuisine as a socializing means that enables them to exchange experiences within the touristic destination. They try to discover the destinations through their food. Thus, they tend to spend higher amount of money to gain such experience in comparison with other styles of tourists [103].

3. Research Hypotheses and Variables

Depending on the previous theoretical basis, the research paper aims to test the following hypotheses:

- H1: Good memorable local food experience in hosting destination impacts positively on tourist’s using of the same food items and cooking styles in their homes.

- H2: Good memorable local food experience in hosting destination impacts positively on tourist’s searching the same food items in their home countries.

- H3: Good memorable local food experience in hosting destination impacts positively on tourist’s dining in restaurants that serve these items.

- H4: Good memorable local food experience in hosting destination impacts positively on tourist’s returning again to the destination to retry the same local food.

- H5: Good memorable local food experience in hosting destination impacts positively on tourist’s sharing their experiences to motivate others to try such local food.

According to these hypotheses, dependent and independent variables of the research can be illustrated by the model shown in Figure 1.

4. Research Methodology

Depending on descriptive analytical method, the research was accomplished through interviewing of 62 foreign tourists in Siwa oasis. For the research purposes, a special questionnaire was developed to concentrated on investigating the general interest of these tourists’ in local food during their travelling, their intention to try Siwa local food and their behavioral intention toward Siwa local food experience. The collected data were analyzed by using PASW Statistics version 18. The reliability of questionnaire was tested by calculating Cronbach’s Alpha value (0.967). Statistical techniques of descriptive statistics are used. As the research aims to investigate the impact of tourists’ satisfaction of local food experiences on their behavioral intention related to Siwa oasis’ local foods, One Linear Simple Regression Analysis was used.

Figure 1. Dependent and independent variables of the research. Source: prepared by author.

5. Research Results

5.1. Data Presentation and Description

5.1.1. Research Sample Characteristics

As shown in Table 1, 45.2% of respondents were 60 years and more, the majority of them are males (77.4%) and the highest percentage of them (87.1%) is highly educated. In the same context, 59.7% of respondents are with income level that more than 6000$, 30.6% of them are in a relation and the majority of them (83.9%) are belongs to Western cultures.

5.1.2. Attitude of Research Sample toward Siwa Local Cuisine

Depending on data illustrated in Table 2, more than half of the respondents (51.6%) are visiting Siwa for the first time and 50% of them have previously eaten some food items that belongs Siwa’s cuisine. About half of research respondents (51.6%) are expected that trying Siwa local food is a memorable food experience. According to the major reasons that might encourage the respondent

Table 1. Research sample characteristics.

Table 2. Attitude of research sample toward siwa local cuisine.

to eat Siwa local food, no one chooses discovering un-familiar cooking methods among reasons. Trying authentic experiences was ranked first (33.9%). The rest of reasons come in the following order: Trying different tastes (27.4%), escaping from routine (25.8%), discovering un-familiar ingredients (8.1%) and experiencing new styles of food presentation (4.8%).

In regards to the major reasons that might encourage the respondent to eat in Siwa local restaurants, trying authentic experiences (33.9%) comes as the major reason that might encourage the respondent to eat in Siwa local restaurants, followed by escaping from routine (24.2%). Experiencing pleasant ambience and atmosphere, entertaining unique design, décor and layout and discovering culture were ranked third (12.9%). Dealing with local people (3.2%) came at the end of the ranking.

5.1.3. Interest in Local Food during Travelling among Research Sample

In regards to interest in local food during travelling among research sample as shown in Table 3, the highest percentage of respondents (79%) referred that they are thinking much about food when travelling. They indicated that their food choices are very important during their trips. More than half of them (56.4%) referred that the availability of different types of cuisine at the destination is important when choosing it as they believed that food and eating experiences are important in choosing a touristic destination. They are looking at food as an important motivator for travelling. Therefore, trying local food in the hosting destination is an important aspect of the overall touristic experience.

72.6% of respondents indicated that collecting information about both local restaurants and local food traditions before travelling are important. 58% refereed that their dining experiences are important to overall satisfactory of the trip as trying local food is a memorable food experience and 54.8% mentioned that experiencing food and beverage at a destination help create amazing impression thus make more than half of respondents (51.6%) to be purposefully dine at restaurants offering local/regional foods.

Table 3. Interest in local food during travelling among research sample.

5.1.4. Intention to Try Siwa Local Food among Respondents

Depending on the data of Table 4, more than half of respondents (51.6%) are interested in asking about Siwa local food to try. The majority of them preferred to dine at places that give them the chances to meet Siwa local people (75.8%) and to experience Siwa local culture (80.7%). During their visit to Siwa, 51.6% of respondents preferred to avoid food that is similar to what they eat at homes, 54.8% interested in trying food items that prepared with local ingredients and prepared with local cooking methods and techniques. The majority of them (83.9%) interested in experiencing a new food that reflected Siwa local culture.

5.1.5. Behavioral Intention toward Siwa Local Food Experience

As shown in Table 5, and in regards to behavioral intention toward Siwa local food experience among research sample, satisfaction about Siwa local food experience motivates 70.6% of respondents to try the same food items, the same cooking styles and the same ingredients in their homes. It motivates them to search the same food items in their home country and to visit restaurants serving the same cuisine when return homes (If available). Satisfaction about Siwa local food experience might motivate respondents to return again to Siwa to retry the same local food (59.7%), to interest in recording this local food experiences by videos and photos to share with friends through social media (80.7%), to advice others to try it (83.9%) and to share such an experience with others (82.3%).

Table 4. Intention to try Siwa local food among research sample.

Table 5. Behavioral intention toward Siwa local food experience.

5.2. Data Analysis

Data analysis is summarized in testing the research hypotheses as follows.

5.2.1. H1: Good Memorable Local Food Experience in Hosting Destination Impacts Positively on Tourist’s Using of the Same Food Items and Cooking Styles in Their Homes

By using Linear Simple Regression Analysis, the results showed that there is a statistical significant effect (P-value = 0.002) of good memorable local food experience on respondent’s desire to use the same food and cooking styles at home. This means that satisfaction about local food experience in hosting destination motivates tourists to use the same food items and cooking styles in their homes (See Table 6). By calculating Regression Coefficient (β = 0.196), the results indicated that any increasing in satisfaction rate by one unit will positively impacts the respondent’s behavior intention to use the same food items and cooking styles in their homes by 0.196 unit. Thus, the research accepts the 1st hypothesis.

Table 6. Linear Simple Regression Analysis to test the 1st hypothesis.

5.2.2. H2: Good Memorable Local Food Experience in Hosting Destination Impacts Positively on Tourist’s Searching the Same Food Items in Their Home Countries

According to data illustrated in Table 7, the results of Linear Simple Regression Analysis showed a statistically significant impact (P-value = 0.002) of the good memorable local food experience on respondent’s desire to search the same food in home countries. This means that the satisfaction about local food experience in hosting destination motivates tourists to search the same food in home countries. By calculating Regression Coefficient (β = 0.186), it indicated that any increase of the satisfaction by one unit will positively impacts the respondent’s behavior intention to search the same food in home countries by 0.186 unit. Thus, the research accepts the 2nd hypothesis.

5.2.3. H3: Good Memorable Local Food Experience in Hosting Destination Impacts Positively on Tourist’s Dining in Restaurants That Serve These Items

Depending on the data of Table 8, Linear Simple Regression Analysis results showed a statistically significant impact (P-value = 0.002) of the good memorable local food experience on respondent’s desire to dine in restaurants that serve local items. By calculating Regression Coefficient (β = 0.186), the results indicated that any increase in the satisfaction by one unit will positively impacts the respondent’s behavior intention to dine in restaurants that serve local food items by 0.186 unit. Thus, the research accepts the 3rd hypothesis.

5.2.4. H4: Good Memorable Local Food Experience in Hosting Destination Impacts Positively on Tourist’s Returning Again to the Destination to Retry the Same Local Food

By using Linear Simple Regression Analysis as shown in Table 9, there is a statistically significant impact (P-value = 0.006) of the good memorable local food experience on the respondent’s desire to return again to the destination to retry the same local food. Regression Coefficient (β = 0.142) indicated that any increase of the satisfaction level by one unit will positively impacts the respondent’s behavior intention to return again to the destination to retry the same local food by 0.142 unit. Thus, the research accepts the 4th hypothesis.

Table 7. Linear Simple Regression Analysis to test the 2nd hypothesis.

Table 8. Linear Simple Regression Analysis to test the 3rd hypothesis.

Table 9. Linear Simple Regression Analysis to test the 4th hypothesis.

5.2.5. H5: Good Memorable Local Food Experience in Hosting Destination Impacts Positively on Tourist’s Sharing Their Experiences to Motivate Others to Try Such Local Food

According to Table 10, the results of Linear Simple Regression Analysis showed no statistical significant impact (P-value = 0.065) of the good memorable local food experience on the respondent’s desire to share their experiences to motivate others to try local food. This means that increasing the satisfaction level among respondents have no impact on their behavior intentions to share their experiences to motivate others to try local food. Thus, the research rejects the 5th hypothesis.

5.3. The Promotional Framework of Siwa Local Food

Depending on the results, the research verifies the major opportunities of Siwa oasis local cuisine that could be used in purpose of supporting the tourism demand for the oasis. These opportunities are analyzed carefully and to provide an integrated framework of international promotional plan of Siwa local food. This integrated framework is illustrated in Table 11.

Table 10. Linear Simple Regression Analysis to test the 5th hypothesis.

Table 11. The integrated framework for international promotional plan of Siwa local food.

Source: Prepared by the Author depending on research results.

6. Recommendations and Suggestions

Depending on results, the research provides some recommendations and suggestions. While the research recommendations are related to all efforts that can be managed to increase the effectiveness of Siwa local food as a marketing tool of the integrated touristic product of Siwa oasis, the research suggestions are related to the future studies and researches that can emphasize on local food in general around the world.

6.1. Recommendations

According to results, the research provides the following recommendations:

- Siwa culinary festivals can be planned to link regional gastronomy to innovative food production styles to attract famous chefs and foodies from all over the world.

- Siwa slow food salon can be held in the presence of world famous characters.

- Siwa food fashion exhibition can be held to promote local food.

- Online Siwa food lovers’ platform should be published.

- Innovate a new type of tourism that depending on culinary tours in Siwa oasis for those who seeking for more in-depth knowledge of Siwa’s heritage and culture. These tours beginning with seeing the farming practices of local food ingredients, passing by local food items’ processing, storage and other related stages to end by local food tasting and experience.

- Like tea and rice tours in china and tea tours in many Asian countries, Siwa can organize an international date tours and olive oil tours to illustrate the different practices of date and olive oil industries to explain the cultural and historical dimensions around date and olive oil.

6.2. Suggestions

Depending on research results, there is a need to achieve a series of studies and researches that related to local food in general. These studies are suggested to concentrate on the following fields and areas:

- The Impact of Globalization on Local Food Experiences: This research area is expected to concentrate on the positive and negative influences of globalization on local food spread.

- The Role of Authenticity in Adding Value to the Integrated Food Experiences: This research field is suggested to be about how to exploit heritage and authentic food ingredients, methods of preparation, styles and tools of presentation and décor pieces and motifs to develop the tourists’ integrated food experiences.

- The Relation between Food Experience Authenticity and the Overall Tourist’s Satisfaction: This research is about the contribution extent of food experience locality and authenticity in raising tourist’s satisfaction levels.

- The Role of the Previous Local Food Experience in Directing Food Preferences among Tourists in Host Community: This research topic is related to how person’s tasting food items that related to any tourist destination would influence the same person’s preference of such items when coming to this destination as a tourist in the future.

- Evaluation of Local Foods’ Information Sources: It is about evaluating sources, both traditional and electronic, that supply tourists with information related to local food and how such sources intervenes in tourists awareness toward local food in a chosen destination.

- Using Food Events in Promoting Tourist Destinations: It relates to how to use the destination’s local foods to develop special events in order to promote the destination and create a tourist demand on it.

- Studying the Role of Local Food Exhibitions in Inspiring Tourists to Try other Local Cuisine Items: It is about how local food exhibitions promote the food heritage in the way that motivates tourists to try other food items related to such a cuisine.

- Local Food and Sustainability: It concentrates on local food as an important tool that contributes of creating sustainability for tourism destination.

7. Research Conclusion

At any destination, local food represents a cultural image of this destination, reflecting many of its heritage dimensions, where local food plays a vital role in the visitor’s interaction with the host community. Based on the different tourists’ perceptions of local food, there are different levels of behavior towards this food. This study aimed at exploring the factors impacting the local food experience in Siwa Oasis as a unique tourist destination in Egypt, in order to know how to use local food as an attractive tool for tourism activity. The responses of 62 tourists, who are interested in Siwa Oasis, are gathered and analyzed to identify the degree of variation in their behavior towards local food provided in the oasis. The results showed no impact of good memorable local food experience in hosting destination on respondents’ behavior intentions to share their experiences to motivate others to try local food. Other results showed statistically significant impact of such good memorable on respondents’ behavior intentions to use the same food items and cooking styles in their homes, to search the same food items in their home countries, to dine in restaurants that serve these items and to return again to the destination to retry the same local food. Because of the limited number of the research sample, results couldn’t be generalized to any other food items related to any other destination and reapplying the research to larger sample might lead to different results.

Conflicts of Interest

The author declares no conflicts of interest regarding the publication of this paper.

Cite this paper

Ghanem, M. (2019) The Behavioral Intention of Tourists toward Local Foods: An Applied Research on the Local Foods Served in Egyptian Siwa Oasis. Journal of Service Science and Management, 12, 714-741. doi: 10.4236/jssm.2019.126049.

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