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International Journal of Spa and Wellness

For a Special Issue on

Gastronomy and Wellbeing: A Global Perspective

Manuscript deadline
30 September 2024

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Special Issue Editor(s)

Ranjana Tiwari, Jain (Deemed to be University), India
[email protected]

Alicia Orea-Giner, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Spain
[email protected]

Melanie Kay Smith, Budapest Business University, Budapest
[email protected]

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Gastronomy and Wellbeing: A Global Perspective

The art of gastronomy is a rich and intricate field that delves into the relationship between food and culture. It encompasses diverse practices, including the preparation and presentation of delicious food, regional cooking styles, culinary arts, and the appreciation of fine cuisine. Gastronomy is more than just eating and cooking; it involves deeply understanding food's historical, cultural, social, and aesthetic aspects (Rinaldi, 2017). Enthusiasts of gastronomy, known as gastronomes, often delve into the origins of ingredients, traditional cooking techniques, and the cultural significance of various dishes (Dixit, 2019).

Research on gastronomy for wellness has highlighted the significant impact of gastronomic improvement on perceived wellbeing, particularly in the emotional, social, and spiritual dimensions (Meiselman, 2016; Chang et al., 2021; Lin et al., 2022). This is further supported by the role of gastronomy in holiday wellbeing, with dinner and breakfast being the most important meals for this purpose (Björk, & Kauppinen-Räisänen, 2017), the importance of pleasure, enjoyment, and comfort in food consumption and the potential of new technologies in shaping healthy diets (Batat et al., 2019).

Further, the significance of gastronomy in not only providing sustenance but also serving as a means of exhibiting cultural identity and tradition has been widely recognized (Richards, 2015). It has been observed that the food and beverage industry has immense potential to stimulate tourism development by attracting visitors who are keen to explore and experience local cuisines (Stone et al., 2018). The diversity and uniqueness of culinary traditions across different regions have made food an essential aspect of cultural tourism, and governments and tourism industry stakeholders increasingly acknowledge the importance of promoting gastronomy as a tool for economic growth and cultural preservation (Wordinand et al., 2021).

Additionally, there has been a focus on examining the concept of gastronomy tourism, its constituents, its impact on destination branding, and its associated challenges, with a call for further research in this field (Lai et al., 2019). Assessing the gastronomic image through online content is associated with the subjective wellbeing that stems from high-quality gastronomic experiences (Lin et al., 2022). Finally, there has been an emphasis on the value of local and home-grown food culture in shaping food choices for food wellbeing (Giraud, 2021). Such choices can also be closely connected to sustainable consumption and the slow food movement.

Furthermore, there are still study gaps despite an increasing body of literature (Huang et al., 2019) associating wellbeing with F&B. There are not many research studies that specifically highlight how F&B-related resources and activities contribute to visitors' overall wellness (Kesgin et al., 2022; Han et al., 2018). There are also very few cross-continental empirical research studies that examine how cultural and geographic variations affect the F&B wellness experience (Dillette et al., 2020; Forlani et al., 2022).

Wellness travelers are showing an increasing interest in culinary experiences (Wang et al., 2019; Kesgin et al., 2022). This suggests that restaurants and travel agencies are placing more of an emphasis on their culinary offerings. Additionally, food is an essential component of all experiences, whether they are gastronomic or beverage-related, serving as the experience's distinguishing feature or acting as a basic supporting aspect (Okumus et al., 2021; Stone et al., 2018). The consumption of food, particularly when centred on healthy and sustainable diets, is intricately linked to overall wellbeing, as individuals recognise the importance of dietary choices in influencing their health (Orea-Giner and Fusté-Forné, 2023). Food is often linked to the idea of healing and rejuvenation. This can be seen in practices such as healthy eating (He et al., 2021; Huang & Xu, 2014), detox diets (Kokkranikal & Carabelli, 2021), consuming nutritious foods (Luo et al., 2018), plant-based diet (Lee et al., 2020), intermittent fasting as a dietary approach (Kiryakova-Dineva et al., 2019) and having positive experiences related to eating genuine and healthy food in promoting eudaimonic wellbeing (Pourfakhimi et al., 2021).

This special issue aims to explore the role of gastronomy in enhancing wellbeing and to uncover the emerging trends, practices, challenges, and opportunities. This special issue aims to generate awareness about the various facets of gastronomy and its relationship to wellbeing, including relevant issues relating to sustainable development; slow food; healthy diets; wellness tourism; women’s empowerment and destination branding.

We particularly welcome perspectives from different parts of the world, practical experiences and empirical insights through the collection of quantitative or qualitative data or a combination of the two.

Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • Gastronomy and sustainable diets -to examine how dietary and culinary choices can promote personal health and environmental sustainability.
  • The role of gastronomic tourism in promoting wellbeing, considering the impact of food experiences, cultural appreciation, social interaction and environmental connection.
  • Social dimensions of gastronomy - to investigate how communal dining experiences, shared meals and social interactions around food contribute to a sense of community and overall wellbeing.
  • Gastronomy and cultural Identity – to explore how preserving and celebrating culinary traditions contribute to a sense of cultural identity and emotional wellbeing, especially in multicultural societies.
  • Sensory experiences of food and flavour perception, including mindful and spiritual experiences.
  • The impact of eating and over-eating on health and wellbeing, including the potential promotion of healthier habits.
  • Gastronomic innovation for nutritional wellbeing – to explore how culinary innovation, including novel cooking techniques, ingredient combinations and food presentations, can enhance the nutritional quality of meals.
  • Gastronomic education and wellbeing – to examine the potential benefits of including culinary education in health promotion programs, focusing on developing practical cooking skills for improved nutrition and wellbeing.
  • Gastronomy in healthcare settings – to investigate the impact of gastronomic interventions in healthcare settings, such as hospitals and rehabilitation centers, on patient experience, recovery, and overall wellbeing. This can include spa cuisine.
  • Digital gastronomy - to examine the emerging trend of digital gastronomy, including virtual cooking classes, online food communities, and food-related digital platforms, including instagrammable food.
  • Gastronomic experiences and destination loyalty - to investigate the relationship between memorable gastronomic experiences in tourism destinations and tourists' loyalty to those destinations.
  • Leveraging local gastronomy for wellness tourism promotion – to examine how promoting authentic local gastronomic experiences contributes to the marketing of wellness tourism destinations.
  • Culinary events and destination appeal – to explore how culinary events and gastronomic festivals contribute to tourism destinations' appeal and marketing strategies.
  • Sustainable gastronomy – to examine how integrating sustainable gastronomic practices enhances the appeal of tourism destinations and their wellbeing benefits.
  • Gastronomic trails and destination experience creation– to analyze the development and promotion of gastronomic trails to enhance visitor wellbeing.
  • Destination storytelling through gastronomy – to examine how storytelling, particularly focused on gastronomic experiences, contributes to shaping visitor experiences.
  • Gastronomic practices for women’s empowerment, poverty alleviation and the creation of socio-economic benefits.

Submission Instructions

An abstract (500 words excluding references) is welcome by April 30, 2024 to be sent to the SI guest editors, Ranjana Tiwari ([email protected]), Alicia Orea-Giner ([email protected]), Melanie Kay Smith ([email protected]).  Abstracts should include the title, author(s) & affiliation(s) and contact information (including the email addresses of all authors) and keywords (maximum six).

Key Dates -

  • Submission of abstracts: April 30, 2024
  • Notification of abstract acceptance: May 31, 2024
  • Full paper submission due: September 30, 2024
  • Peer review reports: November 30, 2024
  • Authors to revise and resubmit based on peer review reports: December 15, 2024

While submitting the full paper, select "special issue title” (Gastronomy and Wellbeing: A Global Perspective) when submitting your paper to ScholarOne’.

All full papers submitted will be subject to the normal peer review processes of the International Journal of Spa and Wellness. Contributions are welcome from researchers and practitioners from around the world. Contributors should follow the journal’s “Instructions for Authors”.

An invitation to submit a full paper does not guarantee publication.


Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article