Volume 15 Issue 1 Jan 2018 Applied Research Notes 2

Nor Adilah Md. Zain
School of Geosciences, University of Sydney, Australia

Mohd Salehuddin Mohd Zahari
Faculty of Hotel and Tourism Management, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia

Mohd Hafiz Hanafiah*
Faculty of Hotel and Tourism Management, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia


This study aims to explore factors affecting destination image by focusing on local food and their actual consumption by the tourists. Theoretical concepts and research are lacking in explaining how local food work in destination branding and how actual consumption may affect destination image. By doing so, the study contributes to research on food image, local food experience, and destination image. This paper empirically investigates the moderating effect of the local food consumption on the relationship between food and destination image. The path analysis result shows that local food consumption moderates the relationship between tourist perception of local food and destination image. International tourists agreed that local food consumption, as part of the cultural resources undoubtedly amplify the image of Sabah as a tourism destination. The feedback and promising insights from the international tourists’ proved that authorities should take proactive action in promoting the local food of Sabah in addition to its core tourism products.

Key words: Local food, tourists, consumption, destination image

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