Gastronomy is one of the defining attributes of cultures and its significance in the African context cannot be over emphasised.
Sadly, with the continent’s diverse and sumptuous culinary experiences, little can be seen of its food in major restaurants, dining areas as well global hotel chains.
In recent years, gastronomy has become one of the main sources of attraction in the tourist destinations.
A destination is something more than an amalgam of natural, cultural, or artistic resources because it also has to reflect the experience that the traveller seeks.
Based on this, destinations should consider the importance of gastronomy as a tool that contributes to a unique experience.
Many recent researches have emphasized that the culinary culture of a target destination has a significant part in the travel experience.
Travelling for the purpose of experiencing the new and unbelievable food, wine and other inimitable local gastronomy assets of another region is gastronomy tourism.
Africa sadly hasn’t promoted its cuisines to its people let alone take it to the world. Gastronomy is not only an exciting business opportunity but one that fit the envy category of an “essential goods”.
Using innovation to define the next stage of how destinations can scale up these assets, the World Tourism Organization(UNWTO) in collaboration with the Basque Culinary Center has launched the 2nd Global Competition for Gastronomy Tourism Start-ups
Identify challenges and projects, and catalysing innovations that can transform the Gastronomy Tourism sector in the near future
The projects must be aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations and the introduction or adaptation of digital and technological elements, and focused on one (or several) of the following areas:
How do we evaluate projects?
The projects will be evaluated on the following criteria:
The undoubted influence of gastronomy in travel and the growing demand for gastronomic tourism have made this area one of the segments with the greatest development opportunities attracting growing interest on the part of governments. Food tourism has become one of the most dynamic and creative segments of tourism and, at the same time, has naturally positioned itself as an element of diversification of tourism with a high impact on the promotion of sustainable development at the regional and local levels.
Gastronomy tourism stimulates entrepreneurship and the generation of new companies and organizations that necessarily affect other industries transversally and fosters values such as:
• Sustainability based on maintaining a balance between economic growth and gastronomic culture and heritage
• The quality of initiatives from production to experience, along the entire tourism value chain
• Authentic communication and a coherent narrative of gastronomic offerings with the participation of all the stakeholders of the sector; from chefs to the media
• Cooperation among all actors throughout the entire value chain of the gastronomic and tourism sector
• Authenticity by highlighting cultural heritage, local products and cultural values