COORDINATES FOR THE FUTURE
Gastronomic Tourism is Cross Cutting and Integrates Multiple Realities: the reality is diverse and cultural diversity requires flexibility, to aspire to a range of meanings. Gastronomic expectations vary depending on the person and the circumstances of the trip. It is also difficult to define an exact type of gastronomic tourist, who is primarily a tourist, looks for different kinds of experiences and overlaps with the conventional tourist with whom they share motivations. We do start from the premise that gastronomy is understood as a construction of memory to protect the valuable past and project us towards our future.
Commitment to Sustainability: Tourism confirms its contribution as one of the sectors that makes a decisive contribution to a country's GDP and job creation, but we need to consider how we will grow in a responsible way, how we will achieve sustainable tourism from the three pillars of sustainability that define the World Tourism Organisation: environmental (reducing emissions), sociocultural (authenticity of the destination) and economic (distributed fairly). Culinary tourism can be anything but mass tourism and should be ethical with the environment in order to last.
The Challenge of Glocalisation: The promotion is global but the experience is local. Gastronomic tourism is an element of cultural preservation and should be configured around the quality and authenticity of the product and the territory. Identity is what defines it. And the tourist, an active tourist, looks for more authentic experiences, local experiences. Gastronomic tourism is hedonistic: feeling, tasting, experiencing. Gastronomy is an argument of the territory brand, of the country brand.
Gastronomic Tourism as the Revitalisation of the Local Economy: Gastronomic tourism provides the opportunity for the development of local economies, job creation and having a cross-cutting multiplying effect on other sectors. And it can contribute to making it less seasonal.
Coordination of Efforts: Gastronomic tourism should be participatory and collaborative. Collective work, in cooperation, is what enhances and joins the efforts of all agents in a territory. This cooperation is even more vital when taking into account the size of small local producers with weak structures, which we must help to preserve. Internal branding has as much weight as external branding. The success stories in creating gastronomic tourism brands are explained from the collective effort. A single coherent message, worked on by all those involved and associated with the destination brand. A challenge that cannot be undertaken without qualified professionals.
The Importance of the People and the Story: People provide a human face, they make an experience attractive and a destination appealing. Chefs are the ambassadors of a territory. You have to work on the storytelling, on the narrative of the gastronomy and the destination, humanising them, looking for new angles that emphasise the beauty of the unique. The digital era multiplies the channels, favours conversations and offers the opportunity to listen. But the construction of the message according to the public continues to be vital. A message that must always be inspiring, that invites you to dream.
The Gastronomic Tourist is also a prosumer: Control of the tourist market has shifted from producer to consumer, to the traveller, who is not seeking a service but an authentic and memorable experience. A very exacting, cultured tourist, who is critical, and is an online prescriber on returning to their country.
Pairing Gastronomy: We must work to place gastronomy at the head of the destination strategy. All destinations have gastro potential. But it is important to have an offer around the gastronomic product to make it an attractive destination because it is a holistic experience. Gastronomy is paired with the ingredients of the landscape, culture and history.
Without Strategy there are no Results: For the destination to exist there should be resources, but this is not sufficient. There should be a strategy, to expertly manage a destination strategy. With resources and a strategy the story can be constructed.
The innovation should be continuous in gastronomy to continue winning over a gastronomic tourist in a competitive global market, without losing the identity and authenticity as the starting point of the story.