Rethinking game consumption in tourism: A case of the 2019 novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak in China
Tourism Recreation Research
Taylor and Francis
School of Business and Law
© 2020, © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This opinion piece highlights a lethal connection between novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP) and wildlife consumption in tourism. While NCP continues to make headlines in the mainstream media, little academic research has considered this illness, especially through the lens of food neophilic tourism. Yet this research stream requires attention, particularly because food is a key motivational factor behind tourists’ travel and destination choices. In the case of food neophilic tourism, visitors directly consume wildlife and other exotic cuisine. Unfortunately, this novelty-seeking behavior may pose health risks; wild and exotic animals can carry deadly viruses that have been found to trigger global health epidemics such as SARS, H1N1, bird flu, and NCP. Despite international government agencies’ legislative efforts to control wild and exotic animal consumption, demand from food neophilic tourists continues to increase. This paper initiates a dialogue urging tourism scholars to study food tourism and offers practical and theoretical insight to contextualize this perennial and pertinent phenomenon.