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Publication date: 17 September 2020

Vaishali Kaushal and Rajan Yadav

This paper attempts to identify emerging themes that focus on customer experience of culinary tourism of international tourists who opted for food tours in Delhi.



This paper attempts to identify emerging themes that focus on customer experience of culinary tourism of international tourists who opted for food tours in Delhi.


The paper uses a multi-method approach for data collection. A thorough review of literature was conducted followed by gaining insights from the industry experts for the themes and a tentative thematic table was established. Thereafter, secondary data comprising 1,744 customer reviews from world’s leading travel website – was analysed using thematic analysis. Customer’s real-time feedback and industry insights were paired together to gather meaningful and practical insights on customer experiences of food tours in Delhi.


Culinary tourism of Delhi is facing challenge in the areas of infrastructure, hygiene and certain preconceived notions related to brand perception of Indian cuisines. The findings of the study allude that the food tour agencies must be professional with all certifications and attention must be paid to location of food tastings, as it become the representation of Indian food worldwide. The findings also indicate customization is the key to positive customer experience, thereby requiring culinary professionals to understand the customer choices and personalize the food tours accordingly. Online reputation management is another key area requiring attention as electronic word of mouth plays a major role in the hospitality industry.

Research limitations/implications

Although this study corroborates valuable academic findings and practical insights, it has few limitations that can be further investigated in the future. A quantitative study can be conducted to provide deeper insights into the factors of a culinary tour resulting in positive customer experience. Secondly, this study focuses on customer experience of food tours which is one of the forms of Culinary tourism, another elaborate study can be conducted incorporating other methods of culinary tourism such as cooking classes, food festivals, events etc. and delving into insights of customer experience and challenges in those practices.

Practical implications

Themes ascertained in this research paper provide deeper and worthy insights to all the stakeholders which would help them use their tourism resources in best optimal manner. Findings of the study would be valuable to culinary organizations, tourism department and other researchers working in the area of culinary tourism. Also, this study can be quite valuable for the academic researchers. Suggestions of the study will help the government, culinary organizations and other stakeholders to enhance culinary tourist experiences of Delhi.


The study is original and highly appropriate to all the stakeholders to formulate suitable strategic framework to improve customer experience in the field of culinary tourism. Using real customer experiences as data and choosing thematic analysis as a method of analysis further enhance the worth of study by opening the area for further exploration.


International Journal of Tourism Cities, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-5607


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