Health and local food consumption in cross-cultural tourism mobility: an assemblage approach

Lin, Jiayi
Cui, Qingming
Xu, Honggang
A healthy diet is vital to sustaining tourist mobility. In cross-cultural mobility, tourists must face strange local eating environments in tourism place and the complex health problems that these environments may cause. Existing research on tourist food consumption and health mainly addresses health from a biomedical perspective by emphasizing food nutrition and hygiene. We adopt an assemblage approach to understanding health as a relational outcome determined by multiple material, psychological, and cultural dimensions. Using Chinese outbound travel to Spain as a case, we explore how psychology, dietary habits, and cultural beliefs interconnect with the foods in novel cross-cultural environments to generate healthiness. A semi-structured interview method was used to collect data in Barcelona and Madrid. We construct three formulas to illustrate the health assemblages in tourists' food consumption. In the food-psychology assemblage, tourists believe that low-risk foods are healthy. Neophobic tourists avoid tasting novel local foods due to unknown health risks, whereas neophiliac tourists show fewer similar health concerns. In the food-dietary habits assemblage, healthy dieting is the habitual and comfortable diet. Tourists with Chinese dietary habits are uncomfortable eating novel local foods. Cosmopolitan tourists, who incorporate various food habits in their diet, switch freely between different foods to obtain health. In the food-cultural beliefs assemblage, traditional Chinese cultural beliefs of yin-yang balance affect tourists' health experience through diet. Tourists carefully choose local foods to achieve a cold-hot balance to keep health. These three health assemblages indicate that food health in tourism is a relational result of multiple dimensions ​
​Tots els drets reservats