Food as culture: an alternative hospitality environment that connects guests to local community and culture through cuisine
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Globalization and cultural commodification have become a pressing matter in the Bahamas due to mass tourism. At the same time, the country has seen an increase in the number of travellers who value memorable experiences that promote a fundamental understanding of the local heritage and encourage genuine interactions within the community. The opportunity to learn about various practices and traditions is valued most by the 21st-century traveller. By developing an alternative hospitality environment, this practicum aims to identify an environment that supports repairing the standardized image of cultural heritage on display. Benefiting both the visitor and local community, theories of authenticity, regionalism, and interaction ritual will respond to place, identity, and cultural preservation issues. This practicum explores how the introduction of a smaller scale community-based hospitality setting can (a) reveal the authentic customs and procedures of the Bahamian people, resulting in an atmosphere that will connect guests to both the past and the present; (b) recognize the importance of the island nation’s vernacular structures as a way of promoting culture and allowing guests to experience life in these interior settings, and (c) generate an atmosphere that naturally stimulates conversation and socialization among locals and tourists; a connection that is vital but most often overlooked in tourism destinations.