Blending foodscapes and touristscapes: International tourism and city marketing strategies in Indian cities

Alberto Amore, Hiran Roy

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    International tourism to India has significantly increased over the last decade, with more than 14 million tourist arrivals and approximately USD$ 22.5 billion of receipts (UNTWO, 2017). Apart from nearby Bangladesh, the major inbound markets for India are from the United Kingdom, Russia and Germany, who accounted for nearly 20% of the total arrivals in 2014 (Government of India, 2016). History, heritage and culture are among the key push factors for international travel to the country, while pull factor such as food tourism offers the opportunity for international travellers to learn about a different culture (Kim & Eves, 2012), yet the literature acknowledges a dissonance between the imagery of India among western international tourist and the country itself (Bandyopadhyay & Morais, 2005). Gateway cities such as Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata are central in the tourist experience to India, yet the official government authorities tend to underestimate the potential of these destinations and how to market them to the international tourism markets. The proposed study seeks to address this gap and advance the currently little empirical research on city marketing in Indian cities (Kalandides et al, 2011) with a systematic review of the urban marketing strategies relevant for tourism in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. Moreover, it explores the potentiality of city branding through foodscapes, here defined as “cultural, economic, historical, personal, political, or social landscapes that, in one way or another, are about food” (Adema, 2007: 3). The aim of this work is to introduce the notion of urban foodscapes and tourism (Richards, 2015) to illustrate the potential, yet unexplored, niche market of international food tourism and brand major Indian cities as destinations to explore, experience and taste.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalInternational Journal of Tourism Cities
    Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2020


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