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6. HUMANITIES, 6.5 OTHER HUMANITIES
This is an autoethnographic account, utilising prior publications, of my role in positioning food as a critical ingredient in Ireland’s tourism policy and strategy since 2009. As the architect and instigator of this project, my priorities were threefold: first, working from the ground up identifying local activists across the food tourism landscape to create an active and vibrant network; second, providing thought leadership for food tourism; and third, encouraging and funding others to conduct and disseminate similar research. I have chosen six book chapters, published as a result of my advocacy strategy, for this PhD by prior publication. They are a series of real-time reflections and reactions as food tourism developed in Ireland during the period 2009-2018. The publications demonstrate that there has been a consistency of approach based on a deep knowledge of, and familiarity with, the public service environment in which I was operating. Throughout this overarching critical document, I contend that the value of the publications is that they are a unique long-term case study of the practice and development of Food Tourism in a specific destination by a practitioner bureaucrat over ten years, and that they make a valuable theoretical contribution by tracking the evolution of shifts in perceptions, or ‘turns’, thus increasing the likelihood of paradigm change. Furthermore, I will show that the publications were very much in step with, and, in relation to the literature on food tourism in Ireland, ahead of, the wider discourse in the tourism literature. I will also show that the literature on food tourism and tourism policy in Ireland appears to be largely silent, and therefore a gap exists. My publications have populated this gap since 2014, by arguing for the importance of food in tourism, by showing that the proportion of food tourists is relatively small, by establishing that food is a motivator of satisfaction not of travel, and by demonstrating the importance of policy as relationship building.
Mulcahy, J.D. (2020) Recognising the place of food tourism in Ireland: an autoethnographic perspective, Doctoral Thesis, Technological University Dublin.