UNWTO announces new dates for the World Forum on Gastronomic Tourism
It will take place from October 31 to November 2, 2021 in Bruges, Belgium
The event will focus on the contribution of gastronomic tourism to social and economic integration. It will also highlight its untapped potential for job creation, regional cohesion and sustainable growth. Building on UNWTO's work to promote innovation in the tourism sector, the Forum also represents a unique opportunity for experts from the growing field of gastronomy tourism to share new ideas and best practices and put the two sectors at the center of recovery plans.
Gastronomy continues to demonstrate its ability to help diversify destinations and stimulate economic development in destinations around the world.
To welcome and connect participants from around the world, the Forum will be held in a hybrid format. In this way, delegates gathered at the Bruges Concertgebouw will be joined by participants from virtually all regions of the world via a special online platform.
UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili says: “There is no better time than now to reshape the future of food and tourism. Gastronomy continues to demonstrate its ability to help diversify destinations and stimulate economic development in destinations around the world. This is especially true for rural communities, where it can help preserve the identity and authenticity of local traditions ”.
Joxe Mari Aizega, director of the Basque Culinary Center, remarked that “We are currently in a particularly challenging and unique moment, and rural communities, innovation and creativity will be key to a successful transition to a new scenario. That is why it is necessary to increase the contribution of the entire gastronomy value chain for the future, generating an adequate institutional framework through specific policies. This type of forum is essential to promote projects that generate and develop sustainable gastronomic initiatives that transform and have a positive impact on the sector ”.
Flemish Tourism Minister Zuhal Demir says: “We are looking forward to welcoming participants, both live and online, to explore Bruges gastronomy during the November Forum. This is a great opportunity for destinations to exchange experiences facing challenging times and place gastronomy and tourism at the center of recovery plans. Flanders, as one of the gastronomic centers of Europe, is ready to lead the way towards a sustainable future of gastronomic tourism ”.
The Forum has been co-organized by the UNWTO and the BCC since 2015 with the aim of promoting the exchange of experiences between experts in tourism and gastronomy, identifying good practices and promoting gastronomic tourism as an engine of sustainable development.