Culinary tourism on Cape Breton Island
Keywords:culinary tourism, ecological food, Cape Breton, sustainable communities, local economies
Cape Breton Island is a well-known North American tourism destination with long-standing attractions such as the Cabot Trail and more recently developed world-class offerings such as the Cabot Links Golf Course. Tourism contributes significantly to Cape Breton’s economy, particularly since the mid-20th century as traditional resource-based industries have declined. In the 21st century, culinary tourism has become increasingly important to expand the island’s tourism offerings and to provide “authentic” tourism experiences. This study examines local-food tourism in Cape Breton to illuminate its cultural and economic significance. I conducted interviews with food producers, restaurateurs, government representatives, and tourism executives. I also consulted websites and policy documents and compared local stakeholders’ experiences and perspectives with official tourism strategies. Promoting culinary tourism raises questions of power, autonomy, inclusion, and accountability. My study accentuates possibilities for aligning economic and ecological goals to create resilient communities, foster equitable social and ecological relations, and establish Cape Breton as a culinary tourism destination.
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