The Role of Food Tourism in the Development of Rural Destinations

Worldwide, rural destinations are at a crossroads. The positive characteristics that set rural areas and communities apart—like their large open spaces, easy access to nature, small settlements, low population density, and agricultural land—are also at the root of several of the challenges they face.

Food tourism development is an increasingly popular approach used to attract more visitors, get them to stay longer, and spend more. The Genesee Valley has the potential to grow as a preferred rural destination by leveraging its local food and drink products, diverse food tourism assets, and unique food stories. This paper sets out context and considerations for pursuing food tourism as a rural economic growth opportunity.