Food and Wine Festivals And Their Contribution Towards Destination TourismIntroductionFestivals can effect the perception of a place amongst the people thus creating an image for destination tourism. Various festivals are discussed as cases that highlight towards the social wellbeing, economic impact, industry involvement and gastronomic tourism sustainability. Role of Rituals in Festivals and Cultural ImpactOne of the main issues regarding ritual based and cultural festivals is determining the factors for visitor motivation attractiveness and the local community motivation for participation in the festival. Rituals are intrinsic to people and create a sense of place and belonging.
Thematic festivals that find their roots in traditions and historic rituals can create a sense of belonging for a community (Haven-Tanga and Jonesa, 2005). Such festivals can be useful in establishing an aspect for national identity for the residents of the region, while making way for preservation of the cultural heritage. Rituals and traditions in a culture when integrated in festivals can also aid in enhancing cultural memory (Assmann and Livingstone, 2006). Through their study Chhabra et al. (2003), determined that heritage and cultural tourism makes use of recreating the cultural traditions through festivals to provide a proposition for attracting tourists.
Similarly Robinson et al. (2004) also highlighted that marking cultural events with festivals can be economically as well as socially productive as they can provide motivational factors for the participation of residents due to their affiliation and history with such heritage events. Example of Edinburgh Hogmanay FestivalThe Hogmanay festival is one of the most significant and elaborately celebrated events in Scotland on December 31st as part of its winter festivals. Scotland’s Hogmanay festival has its routes in Middle Ages and pagan religions when feasts were partaken and gifts were shared in the shortest days of the year.
However after the reformation of Scotland, and the ban on celebration of Christmas, the tradition of Hogmanay was established on the last day of the year when gifts were exchanged. The Hogmanay traditions of sharing gifts, celebrations around banks of fire, and singing of Robert Burns’ poem create an atmosphere that is appealing for not just the local residents of the region but the tourists visiting the time of the year as well.
The motivation that the local residents have for participating in the festival pertain to nostalgic odes, remembrance of their heritage, and continued survival of their Scottish customs. Meanwhile the tourists are attracted to the celebratory atmosphere and due to the curiosity of experiencing the blend of inherent Scottish cultural with the predominantly pagan customs. Food and Wine Festivals and Community InvolvementEvents such as festivals tend to bring together large groups of people usually from an external source or region which can have both positive as well as negative effects on the local community.
Some of the issues that can arise for local inhabitants of the region pertain to security issues, overcrowding, and disruption of routine. The Melbourne Food and Wine festival has also dealt with such problems for the local community of the region. The following section highlights how the management of the Melbourne Food and Wine festival has tried to dispel these issues.