MANILA, Philippines — The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is emphasizing the importance of gastronomy tourism to sustainable development due to its close links to local production of a country.
This will be through its World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism co-organized by the Basque Culinary Center on May 2-3 in San Sebastián, Spain.
“The objective is to promote gastronomy tourism as a factor for the sustainable development of countries, by virtue of its close links with local products and culture,” the UNWTO said.
“Consequently, it is a driver of professional training, job creation and community development,” it added.
The UNWTO said the forum seeks to promote the exchange of experiences among tourism and gastronomy experts, and identify good practices.
“Thus, the 5th Forum will analyze the skills and knowledge that gastronomy tourism will require in the future and highlight gastronomy as one of the main motivations for travel,” the UNWTO said.
In addition, the event aims to identify favorable frameworks that promote entrepreneurship and the creation of ecosystems that, in turn, stimulate connections among emerging companies throughout the gastronomy tourism value chain.
The forum will also address the potential of gastronomy tourism to promote better inclusion of disadvantaged groups and raise the quality of work environments.
It will address some of the main challenges facing the sector, such as the gender wage gap, the employment of persons with disabilities, youth unemployment and the problem of seasonality, among others.
Moreover, during the forum, the UNWTO will announce the winners of the first Global Gastronomy Tourism Startup Competition.
“To date, the competition has attracted gastronomy tourism startups from 65 countries around the world, united by their commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals,” the UNWTO said.
The winning startup will be invited to take part in the Culinary Action accelerator program during the second semester of 2019, where it will benefit from the mentoring and advice of the network of experts of BCC Innovation, a workspace in LABe’s Digital Gastronomy Lab project incubator, and a grant of up to 5,000 euros to cover the cost of accommodation and travel during this period.
The five finalist startups will be announced on April 1 and will be invited to present their projects to the sector’s investors during the Forum, as well as at the Ibero-American Gastronomy Fair in Miami, Florida on May 9-11.
The UNWTO earlier said it is eyeing a policy framework for the development of gastronomy tourism and its capacity to create jobs and promote entrepreneurship, future skills, as well as ways to support SMEs and entrepreneurships in gastronomy tourism.
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