? Stenden University of Applied Sciences Tourism Research Project Report Local products as part of the tourism product of a region Table of contents 1. Introduction 1. 1 Background The research that is conducted within this module, namely Tourism Research Project, is about local products as part of the tourism product of the region Veenland/Emsland. Veenland/Emsland is a region that is located in the west of Lower Saxony as well as in the southeast of Drenthe and, therefore, extends over the Dutch/German border.
The terms Veenland and Emsland stand for the same geographical region, however both terms are mentioned in order to differentiate between the Dutch (Veenland) and German (Emsland) part. Research is conducted in this area in order to find out how tourists perceive local products of the region and to which extent these products play a part in attracting tourists to Veenland. In 2012 the Emsland had with approximately two million overnight stays per year (with an increasing tendency) the highest bed occupancy rate of Lower Saxony, Germany (Emsland, 2012).
It is a tourist hot spot in Lower Saxony, however the Emsland promotes itself as a destination for active holidays including cycling and hiking, for example. Also the Veenland markets active tourists, because of the region’s biking routes that are 500km long in total and located in a landscape that includes preserve areas with plenty of wildlife (Het Drentse Veenland, n. d. ). Even though the current target group are tourists who seek for nature and biking activities, to what extent do the local products attract tourists? Do they play a role as a pull factor at all?
For this research project, local products are defined as food, drinks and dishes. Local food, drinks and dishes are related to “the distance between food producers and consumers” (Martinez et al. , 2010, p. 3), however there are also other components that are often related to local products when defining it. One component is sustainability as well as ethics when producing and distributing local products. Another component is a rather short supply chain that is often associated with local food in order to have an authentic experience (Martinez et al. 2010). The culinary aspects about the region, especially about the Dutch part, are a gap and therefore worth researching in order to find out the potential of local products for the region. This research paper is based on previous research that was conducted by other students. Therefore another aim of this replica research is to compare new data with data that was collected before. 1. 2 Problem definition Based on the aim of this research, the following problem statement is formulated:
To what extent are Veenland’s local products part of the region’s tourism product in perception of tourists? In order to answer the problem statement, the role of Veenland’s local products as pull factors in order to attract tourists has to be researched. Moreover the traveller’s motivation to visit Veenland as well as their awareness of and experience with local products needs to be found out. Another part of the research in order to answer the problem statement will be exploring the differences between the German and the Dutch part of Veenland.
The following chapters of this research proposal include a literature review as well as the hence resulting conceptual framework. Moreover research questions are stated and explained and a methodology regarding the research is described. Furthermore the research results are analysed, compared with previous research and finally a conclusion and recommendations are given. 2. Literature review This chapter provides a review and a critical evaluation of academic literature, based on secondary research after having determined a problem statement.
This literature review is concerned with the topics of food tourism, motivation and Emsland’s and Veenland’s local products. The aim of the literature review is to outline relevant concepts for further research. 2. 1 Food Tourism: an opportunity for destinations In the recent years, food tourism has grown significantly, becoming one of the most dynamic segments of tourism (UNWTO, 2012). Because of the culinary tourism growth, Harrington and Ottenbacher (2011) stated that there are more and more people interested in visiting tourist destinations for tasting the unique and authentic culinary products.
The first concept of ‘culinary tourism’ was developed by Lucy Long in 1998, who defined the concept as “experiencing and participating in food ways of other people, which include but are not limited to consumption, preparation and presentation of food items” (p. 2) (Ab Karim, 1994). However, Harrington and Ottenbacher (2011) described culinary tourism as “the combination of travelling, exploration and enjoyment of food and drinks with unique and memorable gastronomic experiences” (p. 4).
The two definitions refer to the fact that food is a major factor that contributes to the tourists experience while visiting a destination, however, according toCai, Pearson and Lin (2011), food can be also the only driver that makes tourists travelling to food destinations. Moreover, tourist’s interest in a food destination lies in the visitation of food festivals, food producers, restaurants and specific locations for food tasting and experiencing the attributes of special food (Cai, Pearson & Lin, 2011).
Besides that, it needs to be mentioned that the interest of tourists is not only related to the wish of experiencing, participating or exploring food ways but also to learn from different cultures and to acquire knowledge about the specialties produced in a particular destination through consumption. The previous statement is supported by Harrington and Ottenbacher (2011) who stated that food connects tourists with local culture and landscape and even more.
Everett (2008) also explained that food has become more than a basic sustenance, because people begin to place a greater understanding of a culture and engage in a culture through food consumption. In addition, Kaya and Yurtseven (2011) stated that tourists seek for food and beverages combinations and eating experiences that foster learning. Therefore, the food for tourists does not mean only a way of satisfying hunger but also a way of gaining in-depth knowledge about local cuisine and culture.
Knowing that, a destination can make use of its local cuisine to enhance tourists not only with a great experience but also with knowledge and an understating of the local culture in return strengthening the local economy. According to Perri and Croce (2010) another important aspect of food tourism is that food transmits flavours, which reflect the traditional and innovative productions methods, is capable of exciting emotions and expresses the history and regional culture, therefore, food tourism is an opportunity to give added value to a destination.
In addition, OECD (2012) also stated that food is an opportunity to experience the local culture and an opportunity to bring tourists and locals together. Besides, food has a connection with local customs, traditions, and landscapes and even with ways of producing the food with the purpose of providing authentic experience for tourists. Following on from Eves, Lumbers and Mak (n. d. ), the food consumption is seen as an assemblage of contextual and developing social practices, where food not only serves as substance but also a way to relate to other people socially, culturally and politically.
A research conducted by Ab Karim (1994) shows that travelling tourists spend almost 40% of their budget on food whereas Eves, Lumbers and Mak (n. d. ), revealed that the tourists spenditure on food is rising up to one-third of the total tourist expenditure. Consequently, due to the increase interest in food Ab Karim (1994) stated that a great focus should be placed on food as being the core product of a destination while Cai, Pearson and Lin (2011) stated that food can also be used in branding a destination while it is nown that branding is very efficient to raise awareness, creating a positive image in tourists mind through brand association. Food is an important element in constructing destination brand because food is tangled with social, cultural and natural characteristics of a region. Furthermore, Ab Karim (1994) also revealed that food was recognized as being a very effective promotional and positioning tool for a destination. OECD (2012) stated that food can be used to exhibit the cultural aspects of a destination; for example destinations can use food to represent its “cultural experience, status and cultural identity” (Ab Karim, 1994, p. ). In addition to the topic of food tourism, an opportunity for destinations, UNWTO (2012) argued that more and more tourists are looking for learning experiences, in this being counted the gastronomic experience. Mazza and May (2013) defined gastronomic tourism as “the pursuit of unique and memorable eating and drinking experiences”. The elements of gastronomic tourism are the physical beauty of a place, the authenticity of the surroundings and the presentation of the food (Mazza and May, 2013). Moreover, the tourists experience a different culture while eating local food and drinking local beverages.
Consequently, Cai, Pearson and Lin (2011) stated the fact that food is able to bring in the light the sustainability and the authenticity of a destination but also has the ability of strengthening the economy. That being the case Ab Karim (1994) also mentioned that food consumption contributes to the economy of a destination but also offers tourists a local experience. As a final statement it needs to be mentioned that the destinations that can offer and take advantage of food tourism and position this as a core tourism product will be highly benefiting while the value of the destination will increase and the economy will be strengthen. . 2 Motivation to travel Motivation is seen as the driving force behind all the actions (Lee & Pearce 2005). Motivation is a very important starting point to see why tourists travel to a specific destination. Therefore the following definitions show that there is some agreement about the fundamental importance of the motivation. While Wu, Hu, Bai and Jang (2009) defined motivation as “the inner state that directs and energizes human behaviour” (p. 5), Ritchie and Kim (2012) defined motivation “as the driving force within individuals that impels them to action”(p. 253). The two definitions explains that motivation makes people to move or act but Mongkhonvanit, Qu and Rittichainuwat (2008) suggested Leiper definition which revealed that motivation is “a force impelling people to act, attempting to satisfy a need, whereas a need refers to a state of felt deprivation; it is made up of driving forces, emotions, impulses, and cognitive processes structured to determine objectives” (p. ). The definition of Mongkhonvanit, Qu and Rittichainuwat (2008) shows not only that motivation makes people to act but also the fact that motivation occurs from the people desire to satisfy their needs. Following on from Mongkhonvanit, Qu and Rittichainuwat (2008) a person becomes motivated to be a tourist by three factors: first are the needs, secondly is the information, knowledge or the feeling that the needs are satisfied and finally positive expectations that the travel will accomplish the needs.
From these results two type of motivation such as physiological motivation requiring biological needs: food, water and waste elimination whereas the second type of motivation is psychological which requires the needs created by the individual’s social environment (Mongkhonvanit, Qu & Rittichainuwat, 2008). In addition, Wu, Hu, Bai and Jang (2009) also stated that motivation to travel is the drive to satisfy both physiological and psychological needs.
Another similar explanation is that the travel motivation happens when an individual is aware of the deficiency need. Moreover, related to physiological motivation Scarles, Eves and Kim (n. d. ) stated that food is perceived as being an important travel motivator and the motivators in regards to food are conceptualized in four categories: physical, cultural, interpersonal and prestige motivators. According to Moco, Silva and Correia (2008) motivation, from a general point of view, refers “to a need that leads an individual to adopt a certain ehavior, which then satisfies his or her needs” (p. 171). Moco, Silva and Correia (2008) also mentioned that there are motivation theories, which describe a dynamic process of psychological factors such as needs, desire and goals. One of the theories is the push and pull factors. The push factor is designed to push the tourist to go out of their house somewhere else, without specifying where while pull factor is designed to direct the tourist toward a certain destination because of its characteristic.
Clements, Smeaton and Josiam (1999) and Leong, Qu and Rittichainuwat (2003) share the same theory, explaining that push factors are those that give a drive to an individual to make a trip, for example, the need for escape, the need for novelty, and the need for self-esteem whereas pull factors are the destination specific attributes which determine where the traveller will go such as scenic beaches, shopping, and entertainment.
In addition, Leong, Qu and Rittichainuwat (2003) explain that push and pull factors build travel motivation and build the main image of destinations and afterwards the travel motivation and the destination image lead to the tentative decision to travel. Consequently, Wu, Hu, Bai and Jang (2009) stated that push factors are internal and create the desire to travel while pull factors are external which arise due to destination attractions. Another motivation theory according to Wu, Hu, Bai and Jang (2009) can be referred to Maslow’s hierarchical theory of needs.
Martin and Woodside (2008) stated that according to Maslow the human needs can be arranged in a hierarchy of five categories. The hierarchy first begins with physiological needs such as hunger, thirst and sex and ascends stepwise to the needs of safety, belongingness and love, esteem and self-actualization. This explains the fact that people travel to a particular destination for satisfying their needs; while the basic needs have been satisfied there is also a desire to go higher into Maslow pyramid and satisfy other needs.
Tribe (2009) shares the same motivation theory as Martin and Woodside (2008) attesting that the general human motivation comes from Maslow hierarchy of needs where individuals need to fulfil first the lower stages of the hierarchy and afterwards the higher stages, within the pyramid. Departing from the Maslow hierarchical theory, Wu, Hu, Bai and Jang (2009) explained that people are motivated to follow a leisure activity such as seeking and escaping. The two motivational sources refer to the fact that people want to escape from routine and stressful environments and seek recreational opportunities for psychological rewards.
Ritchie and Kim (2012) stated that the seeking and escaping motivational forces influence the motivating tourist travel. For people to deal with personal and impersonal dimensions Ritchie and Kim (2012) outline few reasons why people travel: recuperation and regeneration, compensation and social integration, escape, communication, broadening the mind, freedom and self-determination, self-realization, and happiness. Furthermore, Ritchie and Kim (2012) also suggested that people travel because they are pushed by intrinsic motivators such as desire for escape, rest and relaxation, prestige, and social interaction.
Following on from Mongkhonvanit, Qu and Rittichainuwat (2008), individual motivation related to needs and personal goals play also an important part in the people motivation to travel. The individual motivations are knowledge or cultural and educational motives, punishment minimization or the need to escape or stimulus-avoidance, reward maximization or pleasure and sensation seeking, self-esteem, and ego-enhancement or social prestige (Mongkhonvanit, Qu & Rittichainuwat, 2008).
Finally, it can be concluded that needs are transformed into motivation and therefore need and motivation may be responsible for touristic travels or for any other type of travel. 2. 3 Veenland/Emsland and its local products The following paragraphs inform about Veenland and Emsland in general as well as the region’s local products regarding food, dishes and drinks. 2. 3. 1 Emsland Emsland is a rural district of Germany, founded in 1977, that consists of the districts Aschendorf-Hummling, Meppen and Lingen (Emsland, 2013). It is with approximately 2. 880km? nd 314. 901 inhabitants (Niedersachsisches Landesamt fur Statistik, 2013) the biggest rural district of Lower Saxony. Till the 70s Emsland was significant for its agriculture, however today mainly modern industries, like the famous ‘Papenburger Meyer-Werft’ shape the region (Emsland, 2013). According to Emsland Touristik (2013) the region is a perfect destination for families who are looking for active holidays. Emsland Touristik (2013) promotes the region for tourists who want to do hiking, biking or horse riding through forests, lawns or along the river ‘Ems’.
Moreover boat tours and water sports are in the focus of the promotion by Emsland Touristik (2013). The tourism in Emsland is a great success since it focuses on family and bike tourism, which happened in 2000, and since investments have been made in order to increase tourism in the region (Emsland, 2012). The chairwoman of Emsland Touristik states that the overnight stays have increased with 40% from 2005 until 2011, which resulted in an overall annual turnover of €360 million in 2011 (Emsland, 2012). One touristic hot spot in Emsland is ‘Schloss Dankern’; the biggest holiday park for families in Germany (Emsland Touristik, 2013).
According to Emsland Touristik (2013) tourists can stay there in bungalows or just come for a day and experience all the facilities Schloss Dankern has to offer. These facilities include a swimming pool, a lake with beach, a ropes course, go-cart, water slides, playgrounds, an indoor playground and many more. Other destinations within the Emsland that are recommended for tourists are the ‘Gut Landegge’, a farm in Haren with horses and ponies where families can stay in a hotel, the Emsland museum ‘Schloss Clemenswerth’, the Meyer-Werft in Papenburg or one out of many bike routes all around the Emsland (Emsland Touristik, 2013).
Coming to the local products of the Emsland, an employee of Emsland Touristik stated that there are no specific local products of the Emsland at all, but only typical products of the whole Northern Germany area (personal communication, September 18 2013). However, some local products of the Emsland can be identified according to literature and other personal communication. One famous local product is corn schnapps, made from wheat only, whereas the probably best-known distributor is Berentzen.
Johann Bernhard Berentzen founded the company in 1758 in Haselunne (Emsland) where the Berentzen-Gruppe AG is still located (Berentzen-Gruppe, 2008). Apart from Berentzen, there are more traditional corn schnapps distilleries in the Emsland, for example the Rosche distillery, which is the oldest one in Haselunne (Rosche, n. d. ). Another local product of the Emsland is, according to literature, the so-called ‘Buchweizen Pfannkuchen’, a pancake made of buckwheat. The Emsland Moormuseum (n. d. ) stated that buckwheat is rather undemanding and even grows in turf or moor grounds.
Therefore the conditions in the Emsland (Emsland/Veenland means literally Moorland) are well enough for buckwheat to grow. Furthermore the Emsland Moormuseum (n. d. ) explained that back then, buckwheat pancakes were served at feasts whereas welcomed visitors got more bacon on their pancakes than visitors that were not that welcome. Furthermore buckwheat pancakes were popular for the people who worked hardly in the moor since the pancakes are greasy and have a lot of calories and cholesterol (Emsland Moormuseum, n. d. ).
Furthermore an interview with the chairman of the ‘Heimatverein Lingener Land’ (a club that preserves German tradition by keeping alive the customs and heritage of Lingen) has been conducted. An interview script can be found in the appendix. According to the interviewee (Hermann Schipper), corn schnapps, buckwheat pancake, coarse-rye bread, soured milk, potato dishes and Huemmlinger ham are local products of the Emsland. Especially the buckwheat pancake is the most typical local product, because it exists for hundreds of years already (personal communication, October 1 2013).
However, it is not offered in many restaurants in the Emsland and therefore tourists do not get in touch with it easily. Furthermore tourists visit the Emsland mainly because of its biking routes and preserved areas, not necessarily because of the local products the region has to offer (personal communication, October 1 2013). Nonetheless, mainly Northern German dishes and drinks are associated with the Emsland cuisine. Typical Northern German food includes ‘Labskaus’ (a mush from potatoes, beetroot and meat out of a can, garnished with a fried egg and gherkins), green cabbage and generally any dishes with potatoes (NDR, 2011). . 3. 2 Veenland Veenland is located in the Southeast of Drenthe, Netherlands and is remarkable for its green landscape with large forests, lawns and Saxon farms. Therefore it is perfectly for tourists who want to go hiking or biking in the nature of Veenland. The best way to experience Veenland is by bike, because of a large system of biking routes that are all together 500km long (Het Drentse Veenland, n. d. ). One important part of Veenland’s landscape is the ‘Bargerveen’, a preserve area with plenty of wildlife, including more than 300 different kinds of birds.
Moreover there are several moors located in the ‘Bargerveen’, wherefrom fog rises in the twilight (Energiek Emmen, n. d. ). Another remarkable part of Veenland is the international nature park ‘Bourtanger Moor’ where one can experience the unique ecosystem moor. It is a habitat for endangered species and has won the German VR-Tourism award in 2013 (Natuurpark Veenland, n. d. ). Other attractions of Veenland are the Veenpark, a museum where visitors can experience the life of the first moor farmers in 1920 (Veenpark, 2013) or the Van Gogh House where visitors can see how the famous Dutch painter lived and worked (Van Gogh Drenthe, 2013).
Coming to local products of Veenland, it can be stated that mainly local products from the whole Drenthe region could be found, not only special drinks and dishes from the Drentse Veenland. One local product is the ‘Kniepertie Drenthe’. It is a sweet, hard, thin waffle that locals usually make around New Years Eve (Lokale specialiteiten, n. d. ). The second local product of the Drenthe region is ‘Knienekeutels Salmiakballetjes’. This specialty means literally rabbit excrement because of its round shape and black colour. Knienkeutels are salmiak balls filled with liquorice (Lokale specialiteiten, n. . ). Another local product is the ‘Drentse Heidschaapjes. ’ An Heidschaapje is a breed of sheep that lives in the Drenthe region and the ‘Drentse Heidschaapjes’ are chocolates in form of those sheep (Lekker Drenthe, n. d. ). Lastly, a local product of Drenthe is the fruity ‘Hunebed Wijn’. Hunebeds are megaliths and almost all megaliths of the Netherlands can be found in Drenthe (52 megaliths in total) (Hunebedcentrum, 2012). 2. 4 Conclusion Emsland and Veenland are two geographic areas, Emsland being a rural district in Germany while Veenland’s located in the Southeast of Drenthe, the Netherlands.
The two areas are perfect destinations for hosting tourists interested in outdoor activities. While the outdoor activities are predominant at the moment, local foods and drinks are consumed by tourists, whether they realize it or not. Recent studies show that food might serve one as a way of satisfying hunger whereas for others food might be the driving force of visiting a destination. Furthermore, the idea of gastronomic and culinary experiences as a touristic attraction has shown a significance growth in the past few years.
People are more and more interested in food combinations, products that are specific to a destination or production methods. Besides this, food is also a way to discover the history, the culture, the landscape, traditions and the lifestyle of a destination. Through the food consumption of a particular destination tourists can acquire in depth knowledge of an area, tourists can connect with the culture and even participate in the authentic cultural and food events. While people acquire more knowledge about food tourism they become more aware of the fact that food might be a new attraction open to be explored.
While people are highly interested in visiting tourist destinations for tasting the unique and authentic culinary products, the destinations itself should place food as the main attraction. A support to the decision of placing food as the main attraction, are the several motivation theories, which are very fundamental in understanding the tourists motivation to travel. Motivations theories have shown that tourists drive to travel are the needs, the information, the knowledge and the feeling that the needs will be satisfied.
While this being, it has been established that food is an important travel motivator because satisfies needs such as physical, cultural, interpersonal and prestige. In Veenland and Emsland the main motivating factor of visiting the areas are the outdoor activities, landscape and recreation. It has been found that Emsland and Veenland have local products that might arouse the interest of tourists but due to little information concerning the local products of the area and the intention of tourists to visit the area for its local products have increased the interest in a more in depth researching.
Therefore the main area of this study is to understand the role that local food play in the attraction of tourists in Emsland and Veenland. 3. Conceptual framework The following conceptual framework is based on the literature review of the previous chapter. It aims to outline relevant research questions for further research. A description for the framework can be found below. The concept of local products of the Veenland/Emsland frames the centre of the conceptual map and is therefore the main concept to answer the problem statement.
The concept of travel motivation is shown on the left side below. The local products of the Veenland/Emsland have an extrinsic influence on the travel motivation, which includes the cultural experience and authenticity. On the other hand the travel motivation can be influenced by another factor, called intrinsic motivation, which refers to the physiological needs, namely hunger and thirst. Furthermore, the concept of food tourism is located on the right, because the local products of the Veenland/Emsland influence the food tourism in this area.
These both concepts are connected with the keyword awareness, because the local products can only lead to food tourism if people are aware of certain products, which have to be promoted in order to attract tourist. Also the travel motivation has a high influence on food tourism, because only with the motivation of visiting the Emsland/Veenland because of its local products, food tourism can exist in the region. The concepts of motivation and local products lead to food tourism and food tourism has an influence on the tourism product of the Veenland/Emsland.
It needs to be found out to which extent food tourism is part of the tourism product and if it has the potential to be further extended. 4. Research questions In order to answer the problem statement four research questions that are based on the conceptual framework have been formulated. 1. What is the relationship between local products and the traveller’s intention to visit a destination? 2. What is the traveller’s motivation to visit Veenland/Emsland? 3. Which local products do tourists link to the region and how do they experience those products? 4.
What are the differences between the German and Dutch part of Veenland/Emsland in regard to the traveller’s perception of local products? The first research question refers to the relationship between local products and the motivation travellers have towards a destination in general. As stated in the literature review, local products can be an extrinsic motivational factor for travellers to visit a destination. Researching this question is important to show if travellers are generally (not) motivated by local food or if this is only the case for Veenland/Emsland.
To get a deeper insight into the motivation travellers have to visit Veenland/Emsland, the second question needs to be researched. It will indicate if travellers visit Veenland/Emsland for a certain reason and if so, what reason it is. Moreover, the second research question will show the awareness of the regional products and is therefore linked to the extent of local products as part of the region’s tourism product. The third research question is based on the concept ‘local products’. In order to answer the problem statement it is necessary to find out more about the traveller’s knowledge about local products of Veenland/Emsland.
Another interesting part of this question is the experience travellers have with those products and in how fare these experiences are authentic (in reality as well as in the traveller’s minds). Since Veenland/Emsland is split up into a German and a Dutch part, the local products differ. Therefore it needs to be researched if there are also differences between the Dutch and the German part of Veenland/Emsland in regard to the traveller’s perception of local products. This question helps to give a more differentiated answer to the problem statement.
Since this is a replica research, a part of the analysis, in addition to the mentioned research questions, is a comparison between the new data and the data that has been collected before. 5. Methodology In order to answer the problem statement, to what extent are Veenland’s/Emsland’s local products part of the region’s tourism product in perception of tourists, questionnairesare conducted. Therefore tourists in Veenland/Emsland who are at least 18 years old, because of ethical reasons, are chosen as the population.
Moreover a sample from the population is selected. To achieve a representative sampling, random sampling is adopted. In the random sampling all the members of the population have an equal chance of inclusion in the sample. In addition, in this research paper the absolute size of the sample is important and not its size relative to the population. Therefore, the sample size has been determined base on three criteria: the required level of precision in the result, the level of detail in the proposed analysis and the available budget.
Since the population value is not known, the sample needs to rely on a theoretical statement of probability about the likely accuracy of this research paper findings: there is a 95% chance of being approximately right and a 5% chance of being wrong. Based on this confidence level and confidence interval and in order to have a representative sampling and a valid outcome, a number of 384 respondents are necessary (Veal, 2011). The questionnaires are conducted on the 1st of October in Emmen, Veenland since it is Veenland’s city with the biggest population and there is an important attraction for tourists, the Emmen Zoo.
On the same day an interview with the chairman of ‘Heimatverein Lingener Land’ is conducted in Lingen, Emsland in order to get more background information on the topic. On the 3rd of October, which is German Unification Day, questionnaires are conducted in the family resort ‘Schlo? Dankern’ in the Emsland and in the city centre of Meppel, Emsland. The reason for choosing ‘Schlo? Dankern’ is that it is a very important tourist attraction, besides, Meppel, Emsland is also an interesting city for tourists to visit.
On Saturday the 8th of October more questionnaires are conducted in the Angelslo mall area in Emmen, because there are many tourists visiting the shopping area. The interview aims to get information about which products are typical for Emsland whereas the questionnaires aim to get insight into the visitor’s motivation to travel to Veenland/Emsland and their perception of regional products. Before the actual questionnaires are conducted, the procedure is pilot-tested by a few volunteers who have been to Veenland/Emsland.
Once the pilot-testing procedures have been completed, any required changes in the questionnaire are made in order to get a sufficient and reliable outcome. Furthermore, the results of the questionnaires are processed and analysed in the statistical software application program SPSS and therefore presented in numerical terms. That is the reason why mainly closed questions are asked to get a clear outcome, which is easy to compare because the results are not only analyzed but as well compared with a research which was taken last year from other students on the same topic.
Moreover the research is conducted on the Dutch and on the German part of the Veenland/Emsland that is why the questionnaires are translated intoGerman and Dutch. This could lead to small differences in the questionnaires, however to ensure reliability, both questionnaires include the same questions only the local products are adapted to the particular region. Table 1 shows a matrix that was created in order to ensure validity. The matrix includes each research question, the corresponding concepts, information needed and questionnaire questions that are necessary in order to answer the research questions.
This matrix ensures validity, because questionnaire questions are made on the basis of concepts and information needed and therefore the survey truly measures what it is intended to measure in order to have suitable information for each research question. Research Question Concept Information needed Questionnaire question 1. What is the relationship between local products and the traveller’s intention to visit a destination? Travel motivation Food tourism Awareness of local products Reasons for choosing a certain destination Local food as part of a tourism product
What are your main reasons when choosing a holiday destination in general? On a scale from 1 to 5, how important are local products for you when choosing a holiday destination in general? Have you ever travelled to a destination because of its local products? For what reason would you like to taste local foods or drinks? 2. What is the traveller’s motivation to visit Veenland/Emsland? Travel motivation Tourism product Reasons for choosing Veenland/Emsland as destination for travelling Tourism product of Veenland/Emsland in perception of tourists
Awareness of Veenland’s/Emsland’s local products Why did you choose the Emsland/Veenland as a travel destination? On a scale from 1 to 5, how important are local products for you when choosing this holiday in Emsland/Veenland? 3. Which local products do tourists link to the region and how do they experience those products? Local products Food tourism Knowledge/awareness of local products Role of authenticity/cultural experience Reasons for choosing certain restaurants/dishes when going out in Veenland/Emsland Willingness to pay for local products
What is the first local product that comes to your mind when thinking about the Emsland/Veenland? Which of the following products is according to you the most typical one for the Emsland/Veenland? For what reason would you like to taste local foods or drinks? 4. What are the differences between the German and Dutch part of Veenland/Emsland in regard to the traveller’s perception of local products? Local products Tourism product Awareness of local products in Veenland/Emsland Differences between the local products Differences between promotion of local products
Differences between travel motivation to Emsland/Veenland 5. What differences can be examined when comparing the data of this replica research with the data collected before? Food tourism Local products Travel motivation Tourism product Data of this research Data that was collected before Table 1: Questionnaire matrix 6. Limitations Before and during the research some limitations, which might have an impact on the outcome, were discovered. When reviewing secondary data, only little information about local products of the Emsland/Veenland was found.
Moreover the local products in secondary sources often referred to a bigger region (Northern Germany/Drenthe), instead of being local products particularly for the Emsland/Veenland. In order to get more information, the Emsland tourism board was contacted. One employee was supposed to send information via post, however it has never arrived and emails were not replied anymore. Furthermore the tourism board of Drenthe was not willing to help with information either. These obstacles made it hard to find usable background information on the topic.
Additionally, the information that was found was partially contradictory. The tourism board of the Emsland stated that there are no local products for the Emsland, only typical Northern German ones, whereas the chairman of the ‘Heimatverein Lingen’ was able to name local products of the Emsland. During the research some limitations occurred as well. On three different days research has been conducted in the Emsland/Veenland. Because of a given time frame, the research was conducted in the off-season; hence fewer tourists were at the destination than in the high season.
After those three days of research the budget was overspent, however not enough questionnaires for the Veenland were conducted, which would have been necessary in order to get a valid outcome. Therefore more questionnaires had to be conducted in Leeuwarden. All people that filled in the questionnaire in Leeuwarden have been to the Veenland before. Nevertheless it might be the case that these people do not have the same associations with the region like people who are on holidays in the Veenland at the moment when the questionnaire is conducted.
One last limitation is related to the questionnaire. For question nine (Which local product is according to you the most typical one for the Emsland/Veenland? ) only one answer was supposed to be ticked by the participants. However, many participants have not read it carefully and crossed more than one answer. Because of this obstacle the question has to be analysed as a multiple answer question and if all participants would have answered the question in the same way, the outcome might be different. 7. Results and analysis
The results of the survey showto what extent Veenland’s and Emsland’s local products are part of the region’s tourism product in the perception of tourists. In total 204 tourists of the Emsland and 194 tourists of the Veenland filled in the questionnaires and therefore participated in the research project. These questionnaires are analysed according to the research questions and visually supported by statistics. 7. 1 Relationship between local products and travel motivation What is the relationship between local products and the traveller’s intention to visit a destination?
By conducting questionnaires withtourists in the Emsland, it is found out that themain reasons for choosing a holiday destination are ‘Landscape’ (66%) and ‘Attractions’ (55%) but also the ‘Weather’ (52%) and ‘Culture’ (43%) are important pull factors. ‘Local products’ play a rather small role for the Emsland tourists when it comes to choosing a holiday destination in general and is therefore no significant factor as shown in figure 1. 1a. The following graphs are based on a multiple response question and therefore the total percentage is higher than 100%. Figure 1. a: Main reasons when choosing a holiday destination in general (Emsland tourists) The same question was asked to tourists who visited the Veenland at that moment. The number of answers differs a little bit but the majority picked the same reasons to choose a holiday destination in general. The biggest motivation factors in this case are ‘Landscape’ (89%), ‘Attractions’ (51%) and ‘Weather’ (66%). Local products are with 8% the less chosen reason when deciding for a holiday destination (Figure 1. 1b). Figure 1. 1b: Main reasons when choosing a holiday destination in general (Veenland tourists)
Furthermore a cross table comparing the main reasons when choosing a holiday destination compared with the age shows that ‘Landscape’ is a very popular reason to travel, especially for people older than 60 (15%). Furthermore ‘Attractions’ seem to be a high motivation factor for people in the age between 46-60 (15%) and tourists in the age between 36-45 (13%). An extreme small reason to visit a holiday destination is the local products because only 7% of the people ticked this answer in total (Appendix). While asking the same questions to tourists and visitors in the Veenland, the answers show a similar result.
Regarding every age group ‘Landscape’ is the main pull factor for visiting Veenland, but also ‘Weather’ and ‘Attractions’ play a big role. Again, the local products are the weakest motivation factor in every age group, however visitors in the age of 46-60 tend more to travel for local products than other age groups (Appendix). Figure 1. 2a and 1. 2b represent the main reasons when choosing a holiday destination compared with the gender of tourists who visited the Emsland (1. 2a) and Veenland (1. 2b). Hereby it can be stated that in both cases more female tourists than male tourists travel because of local products.
Especially in the Emsland the difference is significant, since 2% of the male tourists choose a holiday destination for local products while the percentage of female tourists is three times bigger, namely 6%. Figure 1. 2a: Main reasons when choosing a holiday destination* gender (Emsland tourists) 1. 2b: Main reasons when choosing a holiday destination* gender (Veenland tourists) Moreover a chi square test relating this cross table shows that in both cases, Emsland and Veenland tourists, the value is lower than five and the significance is higher than 5% (Appendix).
Therefore it is likely that both groups, male and female, do not significantly differ. This means that even though a difference regarding local products and gender can be observed, there is a 12% chance regarding Emsland tourists and 51% chance regarding Veenland tourists that these differences are only due to chance. Within the survey, both the Emsland tourists and Veenland tourists were asked to rate the importance of local products when choosing a holiday destination in general on a scale from one to five (one=not important at all, five=very important).
Table 2 presents the outcome of this question and it shows that the mean of the Emsland tourists is 2,24 and the mean of the Veenland tourists slightly higher, namely 2,82. Which shows that more tourists who visited the Veenland choosing a holiday destination because of local products. Nevertheless, the difference is non-serious and differs only 0. 4. Moreover the standard deviation of the Emsland tourists is 1,064 and the one of the Veenland tourists 1,092. Therefore the respondents differ in both cases, however slightly more regarding Veenland tourists. N Minimum Maximum Mean Std. Deviation
On a scale from 1 to 5, how important are local products for you when choosing a holiday destination in general (Emsland)? 204 1 5 2,42 1,064 Valid N 204 On a scale from 1 to 5, how important are local products for you when choosing a holiday destination in genera (Veenland)? 195 1 5 2,82 1,092 Valid N 195 Table 2: The importance of local products in general (Emsland/Veenland tourists) 1=not at all, 2=slightly, 3=moderately, 4=very, 5=extremely In figure 1. 3a the main reasons when choosing a holiday destination are combined with the question, if local products play a role when choosing a holiday destination in general.
One extreme value can be examined in the figure. One participant chose regional products as a main factor when travelling to a certain destination but in contrast also rated the importance of local products when travelling with a one, which means that local products are not important at all. Therefore the opinion of this person contradicts itself. Furthermore, the figure shows that the majority of people who chose natural resources as a motivation factor to visit a destination (Landscape and Weather) are more likely to name local products as a pull factor for choosing a destination.
In total for only 2,5% of the Emsland tourists local products are extremely important and for 13,2% very important when choosing a holiday destination. Figure 1. 4a: Main reasons when choosing a holiday destination* Importance local products as travel motivation (Emsland tourists) 1=not at all, 2=slightly, 3=moderately, 4=very, 5=extremely A bar chart on the same cross table as figure 1. 4a is created for tourists that have participated in the survey in Veenland. Figure 1. 4b. Hereby it can be stated that the majority of participants rated the importance of local products when travelling with a two (29%) or 3 (32%). % of the Veenland tourists rate the importance of local products as extremely high while 12% rate it as extremely low. However participants who consider local products as a main reason when travelling to a certain destination are also more likely to rate the importance of the local products high while participants who rather travel for ‘Attractions’, ‘Landscape’ or ‘Weather’ rate the importance lower. Figure 1. 4b: Main reasons when choosing a holiday destination * Importance local products as travel motivation (Veenland tourists) 1=not at all, 2=slightly, 3=moderately, 4=very, 5=extremely
All in all it can be said that local products are not an important reason when choosing a holiday destination in general, neither in the Emsland nor in the Veenland. People choose different motivation factors like landscape, weather and attractions. 7. 2 Travel motivation Veenland/Emsland What is the traveller’s motivation to visit Veenland/Emsland? The difference between the motivation factors to choose a holiday destination in general and to choose the Emsland as a travel destination is not that big. Based of figure 2. a, a graph for a multiple response question, most tourists choose ‘Attractions’ (48%), ‘Recreation’ (43%) and ‘Landscape’ (46%) as the main reasons to visit the Emsland. Also ‘Culture’ and ‘Cycle paths’ play a remarkable role in the decision-making. ‘Local products’ however are not significant for choosing the Emsland as a holiday destination since 5% of the participants ticked that answer option (figure 2. 1a). Figure 2. 1a: Reasons to choose the Emsland as a travel destination Furthermore the same question was asked to tourists who visited the Veenland at that moment.
The main travel motivation here is ‘Landscape’. 92% of all participants (with 222% in total) ticked that answer option. As in the Emsland, the ‘Cycle paths’ (61%) and ‘Attractions’ (39%) are other major pull factors. Only 1% of all participants mentioned that local Products are a reason to visit the Veenland. Figure 2. 1b: Reasons to choose the Veenland as a travel destination A cross table comparing the reasons to choose the Emsland/Veenland as a travel destination compared with the age shows that the reasons do not remarkably differ regarding the age groups.
In fact the majority of asked people in the Veenland is between 18-25 (51%) (Appendix). However the traveller’s main motivation to visit the Emsland is ‘Landscape’ in all age groups except for 46-60 year old tourists in the Emsland. That age groups considers ‘Attractions’ as the main reason to travel to the Emsland (15%). Local products do not play almost no role in the decision-making process regarding Emsland or Veenland as a travel destination. Regarding the Emsland tourists in the age of 36-45 are most likely to travel to the Emsland because of its local products.
Regarding the Veenland only one person of the age group 46-60 chose local products as a reason to travel to the Veenland, all other age groups did not choose this answer option at all. The Emsland and Veenland tourists were asked to rate the importance of local products when choosing the holiday in Emsland/Veenland on a scale from one to five (one=not important at all, five=very important). Table 3 presents the outcome of this question. The mean of the Emsland tourists is 2,021 and the mean of the Veenland tourists is 2,13.
These numbers show that the importance of local products is lower when travelling to the Emsland/Veenland than when choosing a holiday destination in general (table 2). In general it can be seen the partipants choose in average slightly their holiday destination Emsland/Veenland because of Local Products. Furthermore the standard deviation of the Emsland is 1,015 and the one of the Veenland is 1,045. Therefore the respondents differ in both cases. N Minimum Maximum Mean Std. Deviation On a scale from 1 to 5, how important are local products for you when choosing this holiday in Emsland? 204 1 5 2,021 1,015
Valid N 204 On a scale from 1 to 5, how important are local products for you when choosing this holiday in Veenland? 195 1 5 2,13 1,045 Valid N 195 Table 3: The importance of local products when choosing Emsland/Veenland 1=not at all, 2=slightly, 3=moderately, 4=very, 5=extremely s Figure 2. 2a: Consumption of local products in the Emsland Figure 2. 2b: Consumption of local products in the Veenland Although most surveyed people choose a different motivation to visit the Emsland than local products, 27% of the participants are interested in trying local food, drinks and dishes or have tried it already (21%).
More than half of the asked tourists in the Emsland did not try the local cuisine or are curious to try it (figure 2. 2a). Figure 2. 2b shows that only 2% of the tourists who visited Veenland have already tried local food, drinks or dishes there. However, also in the Veenland tourists are open-minded regarding local products because 51% of the participants are planning to try them. Almost half of the asked tourists did not try local products in the Veenland (47%), which shows that many people are not interested in trying local dishes.
To put it in a nutshell, the reasons to visit a certain destination are very similar, no matter if the destination is the Emsland, Veenland or any other region. ‘Attractions’ and ‘Landscape’ are the main reasons when deciding for one of these destinations. Even though local products play a very small part in the decision-making process for choosing the Emsland/Veenland as the holiday destination, the majority of tourists is willing to try local products or has tried them already. 7. 3 Local products of Emsland/Veenland in perception of tourists Which local products do tourists link to the region and how do they experience those roducts? In order to find out which local product comes first to the tourist’s mind without influencing the participant’s answer with answer option, this open question was the first one on the questionnaire. In both regions, the Veenland and the Emslands, most participants were not able to answer the question and therefore had no knowledge about the region’s local products at all. However, the knowledge gap is bigger in Veenland since 76% of the Veenland tourists could not answer the question, while the remarkably smaller amount of 46% of the Emsland tourists did not answer (figure 3. a and 3. 1b). Moreover 19% of the Emsland tourists associate corn schnapps with the region while a smaller amount of participants mentioned coarse-rye bread, buckwheat pancakes, sausages or potato dishes (figure 3. 1a). Regarding the Veenland, most participants who were able to answer the question, associate sausages or Kniepertje Drenthe with the Veenland (figure 3. 1b). Figure 3. 1a: First local product that comes to tourist’s minds (Emsland) Figure 3. 1b: First local product that comes to tourist’s minds (Veenland)
Furthermore the participants who were not able to write down a local product of the Emsland/Veenland rated the importance of local products when travelling to the Emsland/Veenland lower than participants who were able to mention a local product. Moreover local products are more important when travelling for the participants who answered the open question with ‘Kniepertje Drenthe’ and ‘Turfstekerbitter’. Regarding the Emsland tourists, local products are more important when travelling for the participants who answered ‘buckwheat pancakes’ (Appendix).
Another questionnaire question asked the participants to cross the local products that are according to him/her the most typical ones for the Veenland/Emsland. For this question answer options were given. As shown in figure 3. 2a, the most typical local product of the Emsland is corn schnapps since it was ticked by 44% of all participants (with 120% in total because it is a multiple response question). Runner-ups are coarse-rye bread (24%), buckwheat pancakes (20%), Huemmlinger ham (14%) and sweet raisin bread (12%).
Far behind are Zwieback, Herrencreme, Labskaus and soured milk. Furthermore corn schnapps was mentioned mostly by participants who are 18-25 years old, while buckwheat pancakes, Huemmlinger ham and sweet raising bread were more known by the older generations. The coarse-rye bread however is known almost equally by all age groups (Appendix). Figure 3. 2a: Most typical products for Emsland Regarding the Veenland, Kniepertje Drenthe is the most typical local product since 51% of the participants ticked it (with 138% in total because it is a multiple response question).
For Veenland the runner-ups are Drentse Keien (19%), Turfstekerbitter (19%), Hunebed wijn (18%) and Drentse Heischaapjes (17%) while Knienkeutels Salmiakballetjes, Stip in ‘t gat, Poemenkreuze and Tweibak are not as popular among tourists (figure 3. 2b). Figure 3. 2b: Most typical products for Veenland Furthermore 21% of Emsland tourists have consumed any local products during their stay while a remarkably smaller amount of 2% of Veenland tourists have consumed local products. Nevertheless, 51% of the Veenland tourists are planning to try local products during their stay.
Since the knowledge of local products is rather low, especially in the Veenland, it has to be taken into consideration that it might be the case that tourists have consumed local products without realizing it (Appendix). Moreover most participants would like to taste local foods or drinks out of curiosity or to have a new experience, both the tourists of Veenland (curiosity 39%, new experience 36%) and Emsland (curiosity 47%, new experience 21%). A rather smaller amount of participants would try local products because of authenticity or cultural reasons (Appendix).
To conclude. the knowledge of local products in the Emsland and Veenland by tourists is rather small. However, some local products are recognized by tourists, especially the corn schnapps (Emsland) and Kniepertje Drenthe (Veenland) are well known products. Not many tourists have tried local products at the destination yet, however many of them are open minded and willing to consume it, mainly in order to get a new experience or simply out of curiosity. 7. 4 Differences between Veenland and Emsland
What are the differences between the German and Dutch part of Veenland/Emsland in regard to the traveller’s perception of local products? In order to find out the differences between the German and Dutch part of Emsland/Veenland in regard to the travellers perception of local products, the first three research questions as well as the end results of the questionnaire questions are analyzed. The first difference between the German and Dutch part of Veenland in regard to local products can be recognised in the consumption of local products at the destination (figure 4. ). 21% of Emsland tourists have consumed local products while only 2% of Veenland tourists have consumed local products. Another difference between Emsland and Veenland can be observed in the figure 4. 1, where one can see that tourists did not try out the local products of the regions but they are planning to. A 51% of Veenland tourists are planning to try the local products while there is a 27% of Emsland tourists that did not try out local products but they are planning to. Figure 4. 1: Consumption of local products in the Emsland/Veenland
Another difference that has been discovered between Emsland and Veenland concerns the tourists’ main reasons when choosing a holiday destination in general and to what extent the choice for the holiday destination in general is influenced by the local products. Figure 4. 2 shows that in Emsland 12% of tourists between 18-25 years old are much more interested in choosing a destination for its local products than the 18-25 years old tourists (2%) in Veenland. Besides, there is also a difference between the Emsland 46-60 years old tourists (6%) and Veenland’s 46-60 years old tourists (16%).
Finally the Veenland tourists above 60 years old (17%) are more interest in choosing a destination for its local products than the Emsland tourists above 60 years old (14%). In addition, 7% of Emsland’s 26-35 years old tourists are choosing their destination because of its local products while Veenland’s tourists between 26-35 years old do not choose their destination because of its local products at all. Figure 4. 2: Choice of holiday destination regarding local products / Age Another difference between Emsland and Veenland concerns the tourist’s choice for the regions because of their local products.
Emsland tourists between 18-25 years old (7%), 26-35 years old (7%), 46-60 years old (4. %) and older than 60 years old (11%)have been choosing Emsland for its local products while in Veenland only 3% of the tourists between 46-60 years old have chosen Veenlad for its local products (figure 4. 3). Veenland’s tourists of other age groups did not choose Veenland for its local products at all. Figure 4. 3: Choice of Emsland/Veenland as travel destination regarding local products / Age Figure 4. 4 shows the reasons why tourists would like to taste local foods or drinks.
A difference between Emsland and Veenland can be seen regarding authenticity, cultural reasons and new experience. In Emsland 26% of the tourists would like to taste local foods and drinks because of authenticity reasons while in Veenland 14% of the tourists have chosen authenticity as a reason. Moreover a quite high difference between Emsland and Veenland concerns the cultural reasons. 32% of Veenland’s tourists ticked culture while the remarkably smaller percentage of 16% of Emsland’s tourists chooses culture as a reason to taste local foods and drinks.
The highest difference between Emsland and Veenland can be seen in the tourists’ choice for tasting local foods and drinks as being a new experience. In Veenland 67% of the tourists would like to taste local foods and drinks for gaining a new experience while in Emsland 30% of tourists would taste local foods and drinks because of that reason. Figure 4. 4: Reasons to taste local foods or drinks In figure 4. 5 the mean of every age group of Emsland’s and Veenland’s tourists regarding the importance of local products when choosing a holiday destination in general is shown.
A slight difference between Emsland and Veenland can be seen regarding the age groups 18-25, 46-60 and above 60 years. The highest difference that can be observed in figure 4. 5 concerns the age group of 36-45 years old tourists, since the mean of Veenland tourists in that case is 3. 29 while it is 2. 17 regarding Emsland tourists. Furthermore the figure shows that local products are generally more important for tourists who visit the Veenland than for tourists who visit the Emsland. Figure 4. 5: Importance of local products in general / Age In figure 4. the average of every age group in Emsland and Veenland regarding the importance of local products when choosing the holiday in Emsland/Veenland is shown. The main difference between Emsland and Veenland concerns again the 36-45 years old. Regarding the tourists between 18-25 years old, 26-35 years old and 46-60 years old, a remarkable difference cannot be observed. Furthermore it can be stated that local products are not only more important for Veenland tourists when choosing a holiday destination in general, but also when choosing the holiday in Veenland.
Figure 4. 6: Importance of local products regarding Emsland/Veenland / Age 8. Comparison to previous research 8. 1 Comparison Emsland In March 2013 a group of tourism management students has conducted research on the same topic in the Emsland. Therefore the results of that research paper are going to be compared with the data that has been collected for this research with tourists of the Emsland. According to previous research, tourists visit the Emsland mainly because of its landscape (34%), cycle paths (25%) and recreational opportunities (18%).
Also the result of this research shows that the landscape of the Emsland is the main motivational factor for travelling to the destination since 23% of all participants have chosen this option. Another main pull factor are attractions according to the current research and as in the previous research, tourists are also attracted by cycle paths (15%) and recreational opportunities (21%). The outcome of the previous research shows that 6% of all participants travelled to the Emsland because of local products, however the percentage regarding local products as travel motivation is with 3% slightly lower according to the current research.
In both research papers the participants were asked to rate the importance of local products on a scale from one to five when deciding for a holiday destination. In the previous research the mean regarding this question was 3,35 and in the current research 2,42. Both outcomes prove that local products play a rather small role for tourists of the Emsland when deciding for a travel destination. Furthermore the mean regarding the same question related to the Emsland as travel destination is in both cases slightly lower than in relation to a destination in general.
A difference between both research papers can be seen regarding the questionnaire question if the participants have already consumed any local products of the Emsland during their vacation. 51% of all respondents have already tried local products during their stay according to previous research. The current research however shows that only 21% have affirmed this question. Another difference concerns the first questionnaire question, which asked the participants to name a local product that comes to their minds when thinking about the Emsland. Almost half of the participants of the current research (46%) could not name any local product.
This obstacle did not occur in the previous research, since every participant was able to mention one local product. However, most participants who were able to mention a local product in the current research thought of corn schnapps (19%), coarse-rye bread (5%) and buckwheat pancakes (4%). Those products were also the top three ones in the previous research, with the difference that the product that was mentioned most frequently was coarse-rye bread and not corn schnapps. Moreover the participants had to choose local products from a given list that are most typical for the Emsland according to them.
Both research outcomes are similar, because corn schnapps, coarse-rye bread and buckwheat pancakes were ticked by most participants. However, in the previous research the buckwheat pancake was the most typical product while in this research it is the corn schnapps. To conclude, both research papers show quite a similar outcome. Most tourists travel to the Emsland because of its landscape, attractions, recreational opportunities and cycle paths, whereas local prod