UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Consuming Location: The Sustainable Impact of Transformational Experiential Culinary and Wine Tourism in Chianti Italy Esau, Darcen; Senese, Donna


Tourists visit wine and culinary destinations for unique, geographically indicated experiences that are place specific. The objective of this research is to understand how the transformational potential of experiential wine and culinary tourism best promotes sustainability in the context of international educational travel. Our case study in the iconic Chianti Region of Italy applies a ‘Hopeful Tourism Enquiry’ perspective and focuses on participatory, co-transformative learning, and mindful sustainability. A mixed qualitative research strategy was implemented that integrates the results of in-depth interviews with industry experts, excerpts from expository travel journals simultaneously captured during the experience, and focus group dialogues with participating students at the end of the field course. This case study revealed three overlapping thematic results that illustrate the influence of experiential educational tourism on the sensory and cultural experience of sustainable food and wine to produce co-transformative learning. The co-creation of memorable experiences establishes a unique sensual representation of provenance through the interaction with the region through narrative so that not only is the food and wine being consumed, but also the consumption of place through the storyscape of a positive and memorable experience.

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