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Immigrants' Perception of Ethnic Restaurants: The Case of Asian Immigrants' Perception of Chinese Restaurants in Switzerland

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Abstract:

Food plays an important part of the process of aculturation through which immigrant communities progress, both in terms of maintaining links to homeland culture and in allowing immigrants to share this culture with the host community. The role of ethnic restaurants in helping immigrant communities find acceptance and a place within the host community is increasingly well documented. Food and its service are moderated in order to permit widespread access by the host community in terms of taste and cultural traditions. What is less widely considered is how these moderations are perceived by those from the immigrant community itself. This article considers the context of Switzerland, with a high overall immigrant population and an increasing presence of ethnic Asian, particularly Chinese, restaurants. The article reports the perceptions of Asian consumers of their food and service experience in Chinese restaurants in Switzerland. The study reports mixed reactions to the experience of Chinese restaurant patronage, with greater satisfaction with the overall meal experience than with the specific quality and authenticity of the food.

Keywords: AUTHENTICITY; ETHNIC RESTAURANTS; IMMIGRANTS' PERCEPTION; SWITZERLAND

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/109830409787556684

Publication date: February 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • Tourism, Culture & Communication is international in its scope and will place no restrictions upon the range of cultural identities covered, other than the need to relate to tourism and hospitality. The Journal seeks to provide interdisciplinary perspectives in areas of interest that may branch away from traditionally recognized national and indigenous cultures, for example, cultural attitudes toward the management of tourists with disabilities, gender aspects of tourism, sport tourism, or age-specific tourism.
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