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Le Cordon Bleu Advanced Studies in Taste thesis

Christine law - 2016 graduate
Le Cordon Bleu Advanced Studies in Taste thesis - Christine Law

Le Cordon Bleu Advanced Studies in Taste is a 2-week programme for food and hospitality industry professionals. This unique course is designed to provide them with a comprehensive understanding of the various perspectives on taste and gastronomy. At the end of the 2 weeks, students choose a research topic for their thesis. Christine Law, Advanced Studies in Taste 2016 graduate, presents her thesis.

China as a gastronomic destination: a delicious delight or an apprehensive affair?

China is a popular travel destination for international tourists, many of which are attracted by its rich history, impressive landscape and unique culture. Food, while essential, is not often seen as a major reason for leisure travellers to visit China. Food has become a widely accepted important aspect of a tourist’s experiences. Gastronomic tourism is about the recognition of a variety of factors relevant to the foods consumed at a travel destination and is now a booming industry in many developed countries.

In a fast-growing country like China, gastronomic tourism has the potential to develop into a key attraction given its rich culinary culture, and the foods available from its diverse geography. This paper aims to critically assess the feasibility of gastronomic tourism in China from the perspective of an international tourist and his or her motivations to travel.
The chosen research methodology evaluates China’s culinary offerings against Maslow’s hierarchy of needs applied to gastronomic tourism and assesses tourists’ motivations at each level of the hierarchy through analysing supporting data from a self-conducted survey. The results reveal that China’s culinary offerings can easily satisfy tourists’ physiological needs for gastronomic tourism. Food safety addressed at the second level of Maslow’s hierarchy is a concern but not particularly impossible to overcome. Moreover, China, with its rich communal culinary culture, is very competently able to address the social needs associated with gastronomic tourism.
However, when it comes to fulfilling the higher-level needs associated with tourists’ esteem and self-actualisation which require the cultivation of engaging culinary experiences, China is still underdeveloped. In light of these findings, destination marketing strategies and structural culinary tourism education programs can be identified as ways to accelerate the development of gastronomic tourism in China. Despite the much-needed development aspects, China is still a very accessible and attractive country for gastronomic tourism.

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