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Open Access In Search of Food in a Foreign Destination: The Dining Choice Behaviors of Young Australian Tourists in Japan

Dining experience is a crucial element in international tourism because it can encourage tourists to understand local culture and has the potential to increase repeat visitation. A better understanding of tourists' dining choice behaviors is important for destination development; however, the literature has not yet fully investigated this topic, and in particular it is unclear how their behaviors change across repeat visits. This study aimed to fill these gaps by conducting semistructured in-depth interviews with young Australian tourists traveling to Japan. The analysis of the qualitative data identified four major dining choice patterns: perusing the area, searching online sources, hearing from friends or family members, and calling on previous experience. Within the four patterns, perusing the area (i.e., walking around a food district) was the most observed behavior for both first-time and repeat tourists. In addition, repeat tourists tended to choose more local and authentic food due to their motivational development from new-and-touristy to local-and-authentic dining experiences. This study's findings extend the current understanding of tourists' dining choices in the tourism literature and offer suggestions for practitioners.

Keywords: DINING CHOICE BEHAVIOR; FIRST-TIME TOURIST; JAPANESE FOOD; REPEAT TOURIST; YOUNG AUSTRALIAN TOURISTS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 30, 2020

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  • 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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