Open Access

Rural Territories and Food Tourism – Exploring the Virtuous Bonds Through a Systematic Literature Review


Although studies on food and tourism have gained terrain within tourism research, especially in the last decade, the connections of food tourism with rural territories have remained underexplored. This is particularly significant in the context of an increasing recognition that food should be understood as a distinguishing feature of rural tourism destinations, at the same time as displaying specific heritage and traditions as and contributing to the development of rural territories. The intention of this article is to shed light on the connection between food tourism and rural territories by exploring its potential through a systematic literature review on this untapped topic. Based on 73 articles focusing on those connections, the paper reviews and further explores what is already known on the topic, examining the different research methodologies and approaches used, as well as the dimensions analysed and results obtained. Research on the links between food tourism and rural territories seems to be geographically marked and particularly relevant in Southern European countries (such as Spain and Italy), as well as in North America (mainly the USA). Impacts on local development, together with production and commercialization strategies, are the main dimensions analysed by the articles, revealing indeed some of the potential virtuous bonds deriving from the connection between tourism, food and rural territories.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, Ecology, other