Elements of Memorable Food, Drink, and Culinary Tourism Experiences

Matthew J. Stone, Joelle Soulard, Steven Migacz, Erik Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study identified elements leading to memorable food, drink, or culinary experiences while traveling. More than 1,000 respondents in four countries described their most memorable food or drink travel experience. Qualitative analysis found five general elements leading to memorable food travel experiences: food or drink consumed, location/setting, companions, the occasion, and touristic elements (e.g., novelty, authenticity). While these elements were frequently mentioned together, a single element (e.g., extraordinary view or entrée) was sufficient to create a memorable experience. The broad array of memorable experiences ranged from gourmet to simple, intentional to serendipitous. While local or authentic foods were often mentioned, many experiences included foods that were not local. In general, elements leading to memorable culinary tourism experiences were more specific than those for memorable tourism experiences, and a memorable destination was not required for a memorable food/drink experience. Tourism providers can use these elements to better create their destination’s culinary story.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1121-1132
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Travel Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • culinary tourism
  • food and memory
  • food tourism
  • food travel
  • memorable culinary experiences
  • memorable tourism experiences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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