8th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism

8th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism Fuels Sustainable Practices

The much-anticipated World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism is set to return to Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain from 5-7 October.

This year’s event, held under the theme of ‘Gastronomy Tourism: Back to the roots’, aims to highlight the significant role tourism plays in fostering rural development, building economic resilience, and preserving cultural heritage.

Bringing together industry professionals, leading experts, and institutional representatives, the Forum promises three days of engaging activities, including live debates, keynote speeches, hands-on workshops, and live cooking demonstrations featuring renowned local and international chefs and producers.

Distinguished Figures in Gastronomy and Tourism

The Forum will gather some of the most influential figures in global gastronomy and tourism, including Qu Dongyu, General Director of FAO, Paolo Di Croce, Director General of Slow Food (Italy), Célia Tunc, Secretary General of Collège Culinaire de France, and Fatmata Binta, winner of the BCWP 2022 and newly appointed UNWTO Ambassador for Responsible Tourism. Esteemed speakers from various countries, including Brazil, Croatia, Ecuador, France, Ghana, Italy, Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Spain, and Switzerland, will also grace the event.

Local Gastronomic Experiences

Attendees will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the local gastronomy through five different excursions. From exploring the excellence of wine tourism in Rioja Alavesa to savoring the flavors of rural Basque Country and the Idiazabal territory, participants will get a taste of the region’s rich culinary traditions and landscapes. Other excursions include discovering fishing villages and dream flavors in Urola Kosta, exploring the mountains of Gorbeialdea and Arratia Valley, and experiencing the Urdaibai coast in Bizkaia.

Preserving Culinary Traditions

This edition of the Forum will also mark the 10th anniversary of the Mediterranean Diet’s inclusion on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list. Emphasizing the importance of culinary heritage preservation, a side-event called “Culinary Plaza” organized by Basque Culinary Center will showcase culinary specialties from destinations worldwide, including Azerbaijan, Botswana, Porto (Portugal), Saudi Arabia, and Zimbabwe. The Forum’s venue at Tabakalera will welcome residents of Donostia-San Sebastián to explore this culinary extravaganza.

UNWTO Gastronomy Pitch Challenge

As part of the Forum, a UNWTO Gastronomy Pitch Challenge will take place alongside Culinary Action!, the entrepreneurship area of Basque Culinary Center. Finalists from UNWTO Startup Competitions will present their technology-driven innovative proposals and solutions for gastronomy tourism. This exciting competition aims to foster creativity and innovation within the industry.

Hybrid Format for Global Participation

To welcome participants from around the world, the Forum will be held in a hybrid format, allowing both in-person and virtual attendance. This approach ensures that individuals from diverse locations can actively engage with the event and contribute to the discussions surrounding gastronomy tourism.

The 8th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism, organized by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Basque Culinary Center (BCC), is set to showcase sustainable practices and combat climate change within gastronomy tourism. Building on the Global Roadmap on Food Waste Reduction in Tourism, this year’s discussions will focus on reducing food waste, promoting circularity, and advancing sustainability models.

Since its inception in 2015, the Forum has been a platform for sharing experiences, identifying best practices, and highlighting gastronomy tourism as a driver of sustainable development. The collaboration between UNWTO and BCC aims to bring together experts from both tourism and gastronomy sectors, fostering meaningful exchanges and fostering innovation.

This year’s forum will emphasize the reduction of carbon footprints and the promotion of seasonal and local produce, in alignment with the shift towards circular economy models. By showcasing successful initiatives and engaging professionals in the industry, the event aims to inspire greater adoption of sustainable practices.

Delegates from across the globe can register online now to secure their attendance at the 8th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism. The prestigious event, presented by reputed figures including Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary General of UNWTO, and Joxe Mari Aizega, General Director of BCC, receives support from the Basque Government, the Provincial Council of Guipuzkoa, the City Council of San Sebastián, and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism of Spain.

The Forum serves as a catalyst for the advancement of sustainability in the gastronomy tourism sector, forging a path towards a greener future. Stay tuned for insightful discussions, innovative ideas, and impactful outcomes as the Forum takes center stage in the pursuit of sustainable development in the world of gastronomy tourism.

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