In recent years, food tourism has seen a spike in popularity, but how can researchers better understand the impact of food involvement on food tourism? In the recent article, “Food Enthusiasts and Tourism: Exploring Food Involvement Dimension,” published in Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research, authors Richard N. S. Robinson and Donald Getz set out to establish a food involvement scale. The abstract for the article:
Involvement is a much theorized construct in the consumer behavior literature, yet extant food involvement scales have not been developed for leisure- or tourism-based contexts. Adopting a phenomenological approach, this article reports a study with two primary aims: to develop a customized food involvement scale and to administer the instrument to a sample of self-declared “food enthusiasts” with analysis focusing on identifying the underlying constructs of food involvement. An exploratory factor analysis finds four dimensions of food involvement: Food-Related Identity, Food Quality, Social Bonding, and Food Consciousness. The four dimensions are validated by discriminant analysis between the food enthusiast sample and a general population sample and logistic regression reveals that identity is the most powerful predictor of being a food enthusiast. We demonstrate the utility of the four factors by operationalizing them as variables in tests of difference vis-à-vis demographic variables and conclude the study by summarizing the theoretical and tourism destination implications. This research addresses a need for theory-driven knowledge to inform the burgeoning special interest tourism of food tourism.
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