Food vloggers and parasocial interactions: a comparative study of local and foreign food vlogs using the S-O-R paradigm

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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to use the stimulus-organism-response (S-O-R) paradigm to understand how the source characteristics of the local and foreign food vloggers impact perceptions associated with the consumption setting of food vlogs (FVs), that is, experiential value and authentic value, cultivate the experiences of parasocial interaction (PSI) and how they are channelized into behavioral and attitudinal dispositions of food tourists. Design/methodology/approach: Following a survey research design, a sample of 418 participants with an interest in food-related touristic journeys was analyzed. Both Pakistani and foreign FVs about Peshawar, a historic city situated on the ancient silk route, were selected for a common reference point. Findings: The reception of Pakistani and foreign food vloggers differed significantly, implying that source characteristics, especially perceived similarity with the food vlogger, are an essential factor in the case of FVs. FVs’ authentic and experiential values significantly nurtured the experiences of PSI and positively influenced viewers’ evaluation of vlogs. The experiences of PSI cultivated visit intentions towards a destination. However, their relationship with the destination’s food image was not significantly related. The favorable reception of FVs was positively associated with the destination’s food image and visit intentions. Practical implications: The findings provide tourism and hospitality managers with suggestions on how to appreciate and incorporate the marketability of FVs into their destination marketing campaigns. Originality/value: This study opens up new avenues of scholarly debate by comparing the local and foreign food vloggers’ source effectiveness in cultivating PSI experiences and resultant attitudinal and behavioral changes. This study adds to the emergent research stream of understanding the food vlogger–viewer relationship through the S-O-R framework.

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International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

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