The local food system in the ‘genius loci’ – the role of food, local products and short food chains in rural tourism
This article investigates the roles that locally produced, processed and marketed food (Local Food System) play in rural tourism and local socio-economic development. It is the first account of a 3 years’ research project (LO-KÁLI) exploring a successful Hungarian rural tourism destination, investigating both the demand side (what attracts tourists to pay for premium products/services); and the supply side (what attitudes, norms, values keep producers in their business). We contrast the externally perceived image (‘genius loci’) of the region (‘Hungarian Provence’, together with its cultural landscape, gastronomy, and social and environmental sustainability) with the impacts of the current development process on the environment and the general wellbeing of the local economy and society in reality. This article presents some of the theories and the analytical framework underpinning our project, alongside preliminary results on how the elements contributing to tourist attraction are perceived by locals and by visitors to the region.