Culinary events in the Slovenian countryside: Visitors’ motives, satisfaction, and views on sustainability

Keywords: culinary tourism, gastronomy, cultural heritage, sustainable destination, geography of food, Karst Plateau gastronomic region


This paper focuses on five culinary events on Slovenia’s Karst Plateau (Kras). It presents visitors’ motives for attending these events, their satisfaction with them, and their views on sustainability. These traditional culinary events, which take place in the same gastronomic region, differ in their scale, theme, character, and history. A survey was conducted among 244 visitors, approximately 50% of whom had a university degree. The most important motives for their visit include local cuisine; experiencing something new, different, or special; and exploring natural heritage and especially cultural heritage. Visitor satisfaction is the greatest at boutique culinary events, where the main theme is highlighted more strongly than at large-scale culinary events. The main challenge in terms of the sustainability of culinary events is public transport access to the venues. Significant progress would be made by reducing the amount of disposable packaging made from non-sustainable materials. The key to successful culinary events is high-quality services and ingredients, where the word local is key.


Download data is not yet available.


Ab Karim, S., Chi, C. G. Q. 2010: Culinary tourism as a destination attraction: An empirical examination of destinations’ food image. Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management 19-6. DOI:

Abdelhamied, H. H. S. 2011: Customers' perceptions of floating restaurants in Egypt. Anatolia 22-1. DOI:

Barnes, D. K. A., Galgani, F., Thompson, R. C., Barlaz, M. 2009: Accumulation and fragmentation of plastic debris in global environments. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, Biological Sciences 364-1526. DOI:

Bessiere, J. 1998: Local development and heritage: Traditional food and cuisine as tourist attractions in rural areas. Sociologia Ruralis 38-1. DOI:

Bessiere, J. 2001: The role of rural gastronomy in tourism. Rural Tourism and Recreation: Principles to Practices. New York.

Blešić, I., Pivac, T., Đorđević, J., Stamenković, I., Janićević, S. 2014: Cultural events as part of cultural tourism development. Case study: Sombor and Apatin (Serbia). Acta geographica Slovenica 54-2. DOI:

Bogataj, J., Lebe, S. S., Milfelner, B., Nemanič, J., Senekovič, B., Sršen, T. 2006: Analiza ponudnikov slovenske gastronomije. Strategija razvoja gastronomije Slovenije, Priročnik za ponudnike, 3.2.1. Maribor. (, accessed 15th Sep. 2019).

Bogataj, J., Letič, L. 2017: Taste Slovenia. Internet: (1. 6. 2020).

Bole, D., Pipan, P., Komac, B. 2013: Cultural values and sustainable rural development: A brief introduction. Acta geographica Slovenica 53-2. DOI:

Bole, D., Šmid Hribar, M., Pipan, P. 2017: Participatory research in community development: A case study of creating cultural tourism products. Acta Universitatis Carolinae Geographica. 52-2. DOI:

Boniface, P. 2003: Tasting tourism: Traveling for food and drink. London, New York.

Brunori, G., Rossi, A. 2000: Synergy and coherence through collective action: Some insights from wine

routes in Tuscany. Sociologia Ruralis 40-4. DOI:

Cai, L. A. 2002: Cooperative branding for rural destinations. Annals of Tourism Research 29-3. DOI:

Canavari, M., Huffaker, C., Marib, R., Regazzia, D., Spadonia, R. 2011: Educational farms in the Emilia-Romagna region: their role in food habit education. Food, Agri-Culture and Tourism. Heidelberg, Dordrecht, London, New York.

Çela, A., Knowles-Lankford, J., Lankford, S. 2007: Local food festivals in Northeast Iowa communities: A visitor and economic impact study. Managing Leisure, 12-2,3. DOI:

Crompton, J. L., McKay, S. L. 1997: Motives of visitors attending festival events. Annals of Tourism Research 24-2. DOI:

du Rand, G. E., Heath, E., Alberts, N. 2003: The role of local and regional food in destination marketing: A South African situation analysis. Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing 14-3,4. DOI:

Erevelles, S., Leavitt, C. 1992: A comparison of current models of consumer satisfation/dissatisfaction. Journal of Consumer Satisfaction, Dissatisfaction and Complaining Behavior 5.

Fallon, P., Schofield, P. 2003: “Just trying to keep the customer satisfied”: A comparison of models used in the measurement of tourist satisfaction. Journal of Quality Assurance in Hospitality and Tourism, 4-3,4. DOI:

Fox, R. 2007: Reinventing the gastronomic identity of Croatian tourist destinations. Hospitality Management 26-3. DOI:

Frochot, I. 2003: An analysis of regional positioning and its associated food images in French tourism regional brochures. Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing 14, 3-4. DOI:

Getz, D. 2012: Event studies. Theory, research and policy for planned events. London, New York.

Getz, D., Andersson, T., Vujicic, S., Robinson, R. N. 2015: Food events in lifestyle and travel. Event management 19-3. DOI:

Glanz, K., Patterson, R. E., Kristal, A. R., Feng, Z., Linnan, L., Heimendinger, J., Hebert, J. R. 1998: Impact of work site health promotion on stages of dietary change: The working well trial. Health Education & Behavior 25-4. DOI:

Hall, C. M., Gössling, S. 2016: Food tourism and regional development. London, New York.

Hall, C. M., Mitchell, R. 2005: Gastronomic tourism: Comparing food and wine tourism experiences. Niche tourism: Contemporary issues, trends and cases. London.

Hattingh, C., Swart, K. 2016: The motives for visitors to attend a food and wine event in Cape Town and their satisfaction levels. African Journal of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure 5-2.

Hjalager, A.-M. 2002. A typology of gastronomy tourism. Tourism and Gastronomy. Abingdon.

Jiménez Beltrán, J. J., López-Guzmán, T., Santa-Cruz, F. G. 2016: Gastronomy and tourism: Profile and

motivation of international tourism in the City of Córdoba, Spain. Journal of Culinary Science & Technology 14-4. DOI:

Jones, M. L. 2017: Sustainable event management: A practical guide. Abingdon.

Kim, Y. G., Eves, A., Scarles, C. 2009: Building a model of local food consumption on trips and holidays: A grounded theory approach. International journal of hospitality management 28-3. DOI:

Kozak, M., Bigne, E., Andreu, L. 2003: Limitations of cross-cultural customer satisfaction research and recommending alternative methods. Journal of Quality Assurance in Hospitality and Tourism 4, 3-4. DOI:

Krajíčková, A., Šauer, M. 2018: Differences in motivation of food festivals visitors – A view from the Czech Republic. Geographica Pannonica 22-3. DOI:

Kumer, P., Pipan, P., Šmid Hribar, M., Razpotnik Visković, N. 2019: The role of actors’ cooperation, local anchoring and innovation in creating culinary tourism experiences in the rural Slovenian mediterranean. Geografski vestnik 91-2. DOI:

Ledinek Lozej, Š., Šrimpf Vendramin, K. 2020: Food heritage-making between the Alps and the Adriatic. Traditiones 49-3. DOI:

Leones, J., Colby, B., Crandall, K. 1998: Tracking expenditures of the elusive nature tourists of Southeastern Arizona. Journal of Travel Research 36-3. DOI:

Long, L. M. 2013: Culinary Tourism. Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics. Dordrecht. DOI:

López-Guzmán, T., Sánchez-Cañizares, S. 2012: Culinary tourism in Cordoba (Spain). British Food Journal 114-2. DOI:

Mason, M. C., Paggiaro, A. 2012: Investigating the role of festivalscape in culinary tourism: The case of food and wine events. Tourism Management 33-6. DOI:

McQuitty, S., Finn, A., Wiley, J. B. 2000: Systematically varying consumer satisfaction and its implications for product choice. Academy of Marketing Science Review 10.

Morawicki, R. O. 2012: Handbook of sustainability for the food sciences. Wiley-Blackwell.

Morgan, M. J., Attaway, J. S., & Griffin, M. (1996): The role of product/service experience in the satisfaction formation process: A test of moderation. Journal of Consumer Satisfaction, Dissatisfaction and Complaining Behavior, 9, 104-114.

Nicholson, R. E., Pearce, D. G. 2001: Why do people attend events: A comparative analysis of visitor motivations at four South Island events? Journal of Travel Research 39-4. DOI:

Nield, K., Kozak, M., LeGrys, G., 2000: The role of food service in tourist satisfaction. International Journal of Hospitality Management 19-4. DOI:

Nilsson, M., Griggs, D., Visbeck, M. 2016. Policy: map the interactions between Sustainable Development Goals. Nature News 534-7607. DOI:

Okumus, F., Kock, G., Scantlebury, M. M. G., Okumus, B. 2013: Using local cuisines when promoting small Caribbean island destinations. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing 30-4. DOI:

Park, K-S., Reisinger, Y., Kang, H-J. 2008: Visitors’ motivation for attending the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, Miami Beach, Florida. Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing 25-2. DOI:

Pipan. P. 2008: Border dispute between Croatia and Slovenia along the lower reaches of the Dragonja River. Acta geographica Slovenica 48-2. DOI:

Privitera, D., Nedelcu, A., Nicula, V. 2018: Gastronomic and food tourism as an economic local resource: case studies from Romania and Italy. GeoJournal of Tourism and Geosites 21-1.

Quan, S., Wang, N. 2004: Towards a structural model of the tourist experience: An illustration from food experiences in tourism. Tourism Management 25-3. DOI:

Regoli, F., Vittuari, M., Segrè, A. 2011: Policy options for sustainability. A preliminary appraisal of rural tourism in Romania: the case of Maramureş. Food, Agri-Culture and Tourism. Heidelberg, Dordrecht, London, New York.

Rejec Brancelj, I. 1995: Kras. Slovenija, pokrajine in ljudje. Ljubljana.

Richards, G. 2012: Food and tourism experience: major findings and policy orientations. Food and the Tourism Experience. Paris.

Ryan, P. G., Moore, C. J., van Franeker, J. A., Moloney, C. L. 2009: Monitoring the abundance of plastic debris in the marine environment. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 364-1526. DOI:

Satish, C., Menezes, D. 2001: Applications of multivariate analysis in international tourism research: The marketing strategy perspective of NTOs. Journal of Economic and Social Research 3-1.

Simeon, M. I., Buonincontri, P. 2011: Cultural event as a territorial marketing tool: The case of the Ravello Festival on the Italian Amalfi Coast. Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management 20, 3-4. DOI:

Smith, S. 2007: Analysis of tourists attending a culinary event: Motivations, satisfaction, and behavioral outcomes. Ph.D. thesis, University of Tennessee. Knoxville.

Smith, S., Costello, C., Muenchen, R. 2010: Influence of push and pull motivations on satisfaction and behavioral intentions within a culinary tourism event. Journal of Quality Assurance in Hospitality and Tourism 11-1. DOI:

Šmid Hribar, M., Ledinek Lozej, Š. 2013: The role of identifying and managing cultural values in rural development. Acta geographica Slovenica 53-2. DOI:

Šmid Hribar, M., Razpotnik Visković, N., Bole, D. 2021: Models of stakeholders collaboration in food tourism experiences. Acta geographica Slovenica 61-1. DOI:

Topole, M., Pipan, P. 2020: Between traditions and innovations. Culinary boutique tourism in the hinterland of Mediterranean tourist destinations. Traditiones 49-3. DOI:

Tsiotsou, R., Vasioti, E. 2006: Satisfaction: A segmentation criterion for »short term« visitors of mountanious destinations. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing 20-1. DOI:

Vuksanović, N. D., Tešanović, D., Kalenjuk, B., Portić, M. 2019: Gender, age and education differences in food consumption within a region: Case studies of Belgrade and Novi Sad (Serbia). Acta geographica Slovenica 59-2. DOI:

Weiler, B. V., Truong, M., Griffiths, M. 2004: Visitor profiles and motivations for visiting an Australian wine festival. Proceedings of the International Wine Tourism Conference. Guildford.

Wijaya, S., King, B., Nguyen, T.-H., Morrison, A. 2013: International visitor dining experiences: A conceptual framework. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management 20. DOI:

Yuan, J., Cai, L., Morrison, A., Linton, S. 2005: An analysis of wine festival attendees’ motivations: A synergy of wine, travel and special events? Journal of Vacation Marketing 11-1. DOI:

Zeppel, H., Hall, C. M. 1991: Selling art and history: Cultural heritage and tourism. Journal of Tourism Studies 2-1.

How to Cite
Topole M, Pipan P, Gašperič P, Geršič M, Kumer P. Culinary events in the Slovenian countryside: Visitors’ motives, satisfaction, and views on sustainability. AGS [Internet]. 2021Jul.28 [cited 2021Sep.24];61(1):107–125. Available from:
Special issue: Gastronomy, territory and tourism