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Tourist perceived image of local cuisine: the case of Bosnian food culture

Almir Peštek (Department of Marketing, University of Sarajevo, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Merima Činjarević (Department of Microeconomics, University of Sarajevo, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 28 October 2014

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3171

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the underlying dimensions of local cuisine image by identifying the key cuisine attributes tourists rely on in their evaluations of local cuisine; and to identify those dimensions of local cuisine image which have the strongest influence of tourist satisfaction with food experience. These issues are addressed within the context of Bosnia and Herzegovina, an emergent tourism market in Western Balkans.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is exploratory. The city of Sarajevo was chosen as a study setting. Image of local cuisine was measured by using a multi-attribute approach in which several food attributes are specified and incorporated into the measurement instrument. Data from convenience sample of foreign tourists (n=402) were quantitatively analyzed using multivariate and descriptive statistics.

Findings

Results suggest that the local cuisine image compromises four components (dimensions): “food uniqueness and cultural heritage”, “food quality and price”, “nutrition and health benefits of food” and “affective image of food”. Furthermore, findings show that these dimensions differ in terms of their relative importance in explaining the overall tourist satisfaction with food experience.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitation of this study is related to the geographical area (tourist site) where the research process was carried out. Thus, future research with greater geographical scope is required.

Practical implications

This study provides valuable insight to practitioners who are seeking to integrate local food (cuisine) into the tourism product.

Originality/value

This paper is the one of the first study that tries to identify perceived image of local cuisine held by visitors in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Keywords

Citation

Peštek, A. and Činjarević, M. (2014), "Tourist perceived image of local cuisine: the case of Bosnian food culture", British Food Journal, Vol. 116 No. 11, pp. 1821-1838. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-01-2014-0046

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited