"Cittáslow". Eco-gastronomic heritage as a tool for destination development

Jan-Henrik Nilsson, Ann-Charlotte Svärd, Åsa Widarsson, Theres Wirell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (SciVal)


In gastronomic tourism, Slow Food has gained considerable attention. Cittáslow, a network of towns, are working with qualitative local urban development, based on similar principles as Slow Food. This article studies how destination development and destination marketing is conducted in a cittáslow context. A study was conducted in three cittáslow towns in Northern Italy. All three towns worked ambitiously in trying to raise the quality of life for the inhabitants by improving local environment, local food production projects, food related events and education. Thereby the destination specific resources and the local identity were strengthened. Tourism marketing was however only of secondary importance; there was even some scepticism towards marketing. Tourism promotion was generally weakly developed. This mirrors scepticism towards mass tourism and commercialisation. Despite this, the cittáslow concept has potential for tourism development by improved product development and increased visibility. The risks involved concern gentrification and overexploitation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-386
JournalCurrent Issues in Tourism
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • service management
  • destination
  • tourism
  • human geography
  • Slow Food
  • Cittaslow
  • destination marketing
  • gastronomic tourism
  • rural
  • development
  • social economy


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