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From farm to fork: Is food tourism a sustainable form of economic development?
journal contributionposted on 17.03.2021, 04:27 by Megan StarMegan Star, John RolfeJohn Rolfe, J Brown
© 2020 Food tourism events have become a large focus for economic development in rural and regional areas. Tourism has been a key driver of food festivals, where they play a role in attracting visitors and generating expenditure in the local economy. While these types of events are generally badged as enhancing sustainability, the criteria and tests for these claims are rarely specified. In this paper we explore how the sustainability of food tourism festivals can be considered and evaluated in economic terms, using a case study of the Truffle Festival — Canberra Region in Australia. A zonal travel cost analysis was conducted to measure consumer surplus, providing potential inputs into individual economic welfare and public good evaluation tests. The results estimate that the event generated consumer surpluses of $754/person and more than $8 million overall in 2016, highlighting the importance of artisan food experiences for tourism events. To further implement food experiences as an economic development strategy further consideration and linkages with agriculture, environment and community are required to ensure they are sustainable.