Ryo Iizuka* - Tokyo Metropolitan University, JSPS Research Fellow
Toshio Kikuchi - Tokyo Metropolitan University
This research aims to examine Kikuchi's (2008) multilayer structure model of food tourism as a framework of rural tourism in the post-productivist era. The framework of food tourism is the expanded version of conventional rural tourism and includes rural life culture, food culture and gastronomic culture. In the last two decades the framework of food tourism is attracting attention in various fields including geography and tourism as sustainable tourism which makes use of local resources. This paper verifies the food tourism model in Watou, a rural village in West Flanders, Belgium on the basis of the data from fieldwork, which includes the investigations of distribution of tourism attractions and land use. Our results show that in Watou tourism consists of three layers. The first layer is conventional rural tourism, which primarily draws on the hop field landscape. The second layer is agritourism, whereby hops harvested in the region are used to brew traditional beer, which is sold directly to tourists. And the third layer is slow food tourism and gastronomic tourism, which are formed by cafés and restaurants serving local cuisine and a gastronomic restaurant visited by tourists from all over the world. The paper explores how the three layers of tourism interconnect with each other and the local environment, addressing questions of rural sustainability and revitalisation in the Watou area.