Factors influencing tourist food consumption

Athena H.N. Mak*, Margaret Lumbers, Anita Eves, Richard C.Y. Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

344 Citations (Scopus)


This study attempts to identify the salient factors affecting tourist food consumption. By reviewing available studies in the hospitality and tourism literature and synthesising insights from food consumption and sociological research, five socio-cultural and psychological factors influencing tourist food consumption are identified: cultural/religious influences, socio-demographic factors, food-related personality traits, exposure effect/past experience, and motivational factors. The findings further suggest that the motivational factors can be categorised into five main dimensions: symbolic, obligatory, contrast, extension, and pleasure. Given the lack of research in examining tourist food consumption systematically, the multidisciplinary approach adopted in this study allows a comprehensive understanding of the phenomenon which forms the basis for further research and conceptual elaboration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)928-936
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Hospitality Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Sept
Externally publishedYes


  • Food and gastronomy
  • Food consumption in tourism
  • Tourist food consumption
  • Travel eating behaviour

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management


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