2 Department of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
3 Department of Food Technology, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
4 Department of Researcher Affairs, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
5 Department of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Central Punjab, Johar Town, Lahore, Pakistan
Tourist behavior plays a principle role in preserving the cultural heritage and supporting the economy of the local community. Local food is a significant factor for tourists and an important cultural aspect distinguishing one country from one another. To understand tourists' food decision making, this study investigates tourists’ perceptions of local food.
A mixed-method methodology used a concurrent transformative strategy. Qualitative research comprised in-depth interviews conducted with 15 local food specialists and 10 tourists; quantitative comprised survey structured questionnaires with a sample of 400 tourists travelling in Chiangmai, Thailand.
The result revealed that tourists’ perceptions comprising attitude, subject norm, perceived value and expectation factors positively affected the perception toward local food information. Regression analysis suggested that the four variables contributed 53.4% to the variation of local food. By employing the standardized coefficients as mentioned, the linear regression model was Y = 0.424A-0.201S+0.428E+0.234P.
Four factors affected tourists’ perceptions towards local food as follows: (1) expectation towards local food information via media, (2) attitude of tourists towards local food, (3) perceived value of local food with the benefit, belief and nutrition of local food, and (4) subject norm towards local food; local food experts influence to tourists. All the factors lead tourists to perceive in local food and culture.
Keywords: Tourist perception, Tourist behavior, Local food, Culture tourism, Social influencer, Cultural heritage.
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