EXPERIENTIAL TOURISM DEVELOPMENT ON LANNA LOCAL PLANT-BASED GASTRONOMY
Keywords:experiential tourism, gastronomy tourism, local plant, tourism development
The rise in plant-based gastronomy has boosted demand for plant-based food tours around the world. This study aims to identify the elements that contribute to the local plant-based gastronomy tourism experience, develop a resource utilization model, and create guidelines for the development of experiential tourism. A mixed-method design is employed. The research sites included three ecological areas in Chiang Mai province, namely highland, upland, and lowland. Data were collected via a questionnaire and a focus group of 30 key stakeholders, which was comprised of 10 groups (Thai and foreign tourists with a special interest in the topic, chefs, travel agents, tour guides, target communities, tourism organizations, tourism academia, media, and local government organizations). The results revealed that the key elements contributing to the plant-based gastronomy tourism experience pertain to 21 local plants (among 190 plants found). The resource utilization model was developed in three stages: pre, during, and post-travel experiences. The experiential tourism development guidelines identify the groups of young chefs, and health conscious people, as the major target tourists. Good conservation of local plants and effective communication using social media are also crucial to development.
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