Thursday, February 22, 2024

Gastronomy tourism to help promote responsible agri practices: UNWTO

Gastronomy Tourism can play a leading role in promoting responsible agricultural practices, protecting biodiversity and reducing the environmental footprint, said a top official of United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

It can also create new opportunities for communities to thrive and protect their heritage and traditions and become an engine of growth and diversification for destinations supporting our roadmap towards the Sustainable Development Goals, stated its Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili.

He was speaking at the 8th edition of the UN body’s World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism co-organized with Basque Culinary Center (BCC), with a focus on the links between product, gastronomy and tourism.

 The promotion and preservation of local products, the contribution of tourism to sustainable development, innovation and food waste all took center stage as UNWTO and BCC, also welcomed more than 300 online participants from 50 countries.

The forum put the spotlight on gastronomy tourism’s role in the preservation of local territories and the promotion of sustainable practices.

A high-level panel of tourism ministers – Bulgaria, Puerto Rico and Zimbabwe focused on policies that strengthen agriculture, gastronomy and tourism.

Expert-led discussions also focused on the protection of culinary traditions, the value of geographical indications, advancing the sustainability and resilience of rural areas, enabling producers to thrive in an increasingly interconnected and technology-driven world.

 Joxe Mari Aizega, General Director of Basque Culinary Center, said: “We are at a time to promote transformative dynamics and link gastronomy tourism with rural development. Territory, innovation and creativity are key to successfully moving towards a new scenario in which to promote a model of responsible gastronomy tourism focused on caring for people and the environment.”

“It is essential to promote sustainable practices, harnessing the power of technology as an engine of growth and promoting the professional development of the sector, and to work to maintain the authenticity and diversity of the gastronomic offer,” he added.

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