Food tourism and regional development: A systematic literature review


  • Susana Rachão PhD Candidate, Department of Economics, Management, Industrial Engineering and Tourism, University of Aveiro, Portugal, e-mail:, phone: +351 966 533 419
  • Zélia Breda Department of Economics, Management, Industrial Engineering and Tourism, and Research Unit ‘Governance, Competitiveness and Public Policies’, University of Aveiro, Portugal
  • Carlos Fernandes School of Technology and Management, Polytechnic of Viana do Castelo, Portugal
  • Veronique Joukes Department of Economics, Sociology and Management, School of Human and Social Sciences, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Portugal



food, tourism, regional development, policies, systematic literature review


Using food as a differentiating asset of destinations and its potential in influencing tourists’ travel decisions is being much discussed in academia. Different countries use distinct terms to relate food to tourism. Concepts such as culinary tourism, food tourism and gastronomy tourism are used interchangeably. This paper aims to explore regional innovation strategies based on food and tourism and on how they can contribute to destination management. The study adopts a systematic literature review by focusing on two main databases, namely SCOPUS and ISI Web of Science. In total, 538 articles (from 1985 to 2017) published in English peer-reviewed academic journals were analysed. The systematic review revealed that food and tourism has been approached from varied perspectives, from interactions with traditional protection strategies under European food quality labels, such as Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI), to innovative actions, which encapsulate the reengineering of places transforming them into creative food spaces or food clusters. Finally, this paper seeks to contribute to the body of knowledge on food and tourism, under the perspective of regional innovation strategies, applying a qualitative systematic literature review of a 27 selected articles within the scope of the research.




How to Cite

Rachão, S., Breda, Z., Fernandes, C., & Joukes, V. (2019). Food tourism and regional development: A systematic literature review. European Journal of Tourism Research, 21, 33–49.

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