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BACKGROUND

¿Por qué este Foro?

In recent years, food has become indispensable for travelers to experience different cultures and lifestyles.

The new trends of tourism are represented in gastronomic experiences: respect for cultures and traditions, healthy lifestyle, authenticity, sustainability and authentic experiences.

Furthermore, gastronomy is an opportunity to stimulate and diversify tourism, as it promotes local economic development, involves various professional sectors, and incorporates new uses to the primary sector.

This central role of gastronomy as a leverage for destinations and tourism consumption has developed a supply chain based on local and quality products, as well as the establishment of an own niche market.

In fact, 88% of tourist destinations consider that gastronomy is a strategic element to define their image and brand.

The World Food Travel Association estimates that gastronomic tourism generates an economic impact of $150 billion annually.

In this sense,  the main driver for 27.3 million American tourists for choosing their travel destinations were gastronomic activities, according to the Global Food Tourism Report by Mintel, a specialized company in market research and consumer behavior. According to Turespaña, In 2013 7.4 million international visitors arrived to Spain attracted by its gastronomy, 32% more than the previous year. 74% of British traveling to Spain ensure that the destination is worthwhile for its gastronomy.

Also, gastronomy is one of the pillars for tourism positioning for Euskadi, Gipuzkoa  and Donostia-San Sebastián.

For these reasons, the UNWTO Affiliate Members Programme published in 2013 the "Global Report on Food Tourism". In this publication, an analysis of the current situation of Gastronomic Tourism was held and reflections of tourism and gastronomy professionals with extensive experience in international organizations, destination management, in tourism enterprises and in training were collected.

One of the conclusions identified in the report was the need to promote knowledge, training and research on Culinary Tourism.

In this sense, and in order to assist in the development of Gastronomic Tourism, the Basque Culinary Center (BCC) became a UNWTO Affiliate Member.

As a result of this partnership, UNWTO and BCC convened, in collaboration with Basquetour, the Foral Deputation of Gipuzkoa and the Donostia-San Sebastián city-council, the 1st UNWTO World Forum on Food Tourism.

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OBJECTIVES

¿Para qué este Foro?

During the forum that will be held on 27-28 April 2015 in Donostia-San Sebastián it is expected that international experts in the field will debate on the current situation and challenges of this tourist segment in the knowledge field, consumer trends, events development management and communication. These discussions will be held to facilitate the professional development of the sector, as well as to generate a platform for the exchange of experiences and identification of best practices worldwide. The main objective of the 1st UNWTO World Forum on Food Tourism is to enhance the management quality of the public sector within the gastronomic tourism field.

Furthermore, the specific objectives are:

  • Getting a better understanding of the needs and means to enhance the management of gastronomic tourism worldwide.
  • Transmit successful initiatives experiences on which tourism, wine and gastronomy, are linked internationally
  • Establish network opportunities between professionals in order to address their needs and pinpoint problems to correctly develop gastronomic tourism.
  • To foster the concept of innovation in the tourism sector as to lay the foundations for sustainable development.
  • Obtain valid conclusions for participants, governments and private sector to make proposals for the future.