Food Involvement, Sustainable Practices, and Travel Intent: Moral Tensions?

Richard N.S. Robinson, Tommy D. Andersson, Donald Getz, Sanja Vujicic, Michael Ottenbacher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Considerable work has identified the characteristics and travel preferences of foodies. Many food tourists are seduced by high end indulgent activities, not necessarily aligned with sustainability objectives. In this article we ask: Are food tourists' involvement levels and travel choices in accordance with sustainability objectives? In so doing we explore moral tensions. Using Swedish survey data incorporating a food involvement scale we capture domestic sustainability sensibilities and infer food involvement and travel intention implications. Results show a) strong linkages between domestic sustainability food practices and involvement and b) that those seeking novel and new food experiences are likely to travel. On the other hand, foodies that practice sustainability in their domestic life are less inclined to travel. Inherent to these findings is an identity tension between the hedonic epicure and the sustainable food-wise foodie. Theoretically, this suggests sustainability, in parallel with hedonism, is a sensitizing driver of involvement. Practically, the implications are that destinations post-COVID-19 will have to work harder on image enhancement campaigns targeting sustainably sensitive food tourists.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-83
JournalJournal of Gastronomy and Tourism
Issue number2
Early online date5 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - 7 Feb 2023
Externally publishedYes

Cite this