The WTO highlights the role of gastronomy as a tourism engine

The UNWTO World Food Tourism Forum will take place in San Sebastian in 2019

The World Tourism Organization (WTO) has highlighted the role of gastronomy as an engine for tourism and regretted that the potential of gastronomic tourism as intangible cultural heritage has not yet been exploited.

“Gastronomy is an important engine for tourists when choosing a destination,” UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said during the 4th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomic Tourism, whose objective is to promote innovative ideas that can help the development of gastronomic tourism.

Also, Pololikashvili has emphasized the utility of gastronomic tourism “to preserve and promote authenticity in local communities” thanks to the use of technology. In fact, the association with technology providers is among the main priorities of the UNWTO.

During this meeting held in Thailand, under the organization of the UNWTO, the Thai government and the Basque Culinary Center, the 600 participants addressed issues such as the role of technology in the achievement of sustainable development and linking the entire tourism value chain to gastronomy.

In this context, some technological companies of the host country carried out workshops on the offer of gastronomic tourism in Thailand, on how to use technology to better reach tourists and show their initiatives.

“Local communities can be strengthened and proud of their culture through gastronomic tourism,” said Thai Tourism and Tourism Minister Weerasak Kowsurat. “Agriculture and tourism are important job creators throughout the country, and Thai cuisine helps us boost tourism spending,” he added.

Finally, the UNWTO took the opportunity to publicize its report ‘Report on gastronomic tourism: The case of Japan’ and remember that the next edition of the World Forum of Gastronomic Tourism in 2019 will take place in San Sebastian, and the following, in 2020, in Flandres (Belgium).