Perceptions of food and its locality among Russian tourists in the South Savo region of Finland
Mynttinen, S.; Logrén, J.; Särkkä-Tirkkonen, M.; Rautiainen, T. (2015)
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Russians currently form the largest foreign tourist group visiting Finland. Market studies show that most of the money spent by Russian tourists during their visits is allocated towards food. However, their perceptions of food and food-related preferences during their visits have not been studied in detail. This study focuses on understanding the perceptions, experiences and awareness of Russian tourists concerning local food in the South Savo region. It applies both qualitative and quantitative methods to reach a more in-depth understanding of Russian tourists' relations to local food. The results show that Russian tourists especially value the freshness and healthiness associated with local food. Nevertheless, the motivators to use local food products appear to be different when it comes to food products in Finland or in Russia. In addition, local food products are poorly recognised, and tourists are not familiar with local South Savo food. Consequently, the study reveals potential factors that could increase the Russian tourists' usage of local food products or food services while visiting the region and potentially other tourist destinations.
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