The growing importance of gastronomy tourism as a driver of inclusive development will be celebrated in the Japanese city of Nara next month.
Held under the theme ‘Gastronomy Tourism for People and Planet: Innovate, Empower and Preserve’, the 7th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism will take place on 12-15 December. Organized by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Basque Culinary Center (BCC) and hosted by the Nara Prefecture Government, with the support of the Japan Tourism Agency, the event will put the spotlight on the role of gastronomy tourism as a platform for development, women’s and youth empowerment and innovative ways on how to attract and retain talent.
It will also see the launch of UNWTO’s Global Roadmap on Food Waste Reduction in Tourism. The Roadmap provides a consistent framework for tourism stakeholders to embrace the sustainable management of food so that it never becomes waste.
Innovation and social inclusion
UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili says: “This year’s edition of the Forum represents a unique opportunity for experts to share their best practices and enhance the role of Gastronomy Tourism in sustainability, innovation, and social inclusion, and highlight its importance for regional and rural development.”
Joxe Mari Aizega, Director of the Basque Culinary Center, added: “The gastronomy sector has a meaningful influence on a region’s image and international projection. And for that, forums like this one are needed to nurture and boost young talents, create value, and, most important, address the challenges that the gastronomy tourism sector is facing.”
The Governor of Nara Mr. Shogo Arai said: “Gastronomy tourism has been at the heart of Nara’s initiatives to promote the linkages between food and tourism. Such linkages not only contribute to the promotion of traditional culture and diversity, but also to the development of cultural communication, the regional economy, sustainable tourism, and gastronomic exchanges.”
Commissioner of the Japan Tourism Agency, Mr. Koichi Wada, added: “In this country of great tradition and culture, where tourism and food and beverage professionals are engaged in friendly competition, there are many new initiatives in gastronomy tourism. We look forward to welcoming you back to Japan.”
Global gastronomy leaders
The Forum will once again welcome many of the leading figures of global gastronomy and tourism. Among those set to take part in Nara are UNWTO Ambassador for Sustainable Tourism and Asia’s Best Female Chef of 2016, Maria Margarita A. Fores of the Philippines, Chef Catia Uliassi, ranked number 12 in the ‘50 Best’ from Italy, and Masayuki Miura, owner of Kiyosuminosato AWA Michelin Guide Nara 2022, Green-Star Restaurant (Japan). The full line-up is available on the Forum Programme.