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I World Forum on Food Tourism to gather together in the Basque Country over twenty experts from both fields to consider future challenges

2015 April 20
  • The Basque Culinary Center and the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) are organising this world food forum to be held  next Monday and Tuesday  -27 and 28 April - in Donostia-San Sebastián, in collaboration with the Basque Government (Basquetour), Gipuzkoa Provincial Council and Donostia-San Sebastián City Council
  • The trail-blazing forum, as it is the first of its kind to be held in the world, seeks to be an opportunity to reflect with the leading world experts in food tourism on the current situation and the challenges facing the food tourism sector.
  • The aim is to drive the professional development of the sector, with brainstorming sessions and identifying best practices around the world.
  • International experts, such as the Executive Director of the  World Food Travel Association, Jorge Vallejo, the prestigious chef at the Quintonil Restaurant (Mexico DF); Mitsuharu Tsumura, exponent of the Peruvian culinary revolution at Maido Restaurant in Lima, and chef Pedro Subijana, will be at the event, where the speakers will include the Secretary General of the UNWTO, Taleb Rifal.

Enhancing the quality of the management of the public sector in the sphere of food tourism. That is the objective of the I World Forum on Food Tourism being held by the Basque Culinary Center and the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) next Monday and Tuesday, on 27 and 28 April, respectively.  The forum will put Donostia-San Sebastián in the world spotlight of this booming sector. Gastronomy and tourism are natural and mutually reinforcing allies.  The sessions over two days will thus focus on the numerous links between both, along considering with the opportunities for both areas to work closer together. The Forum is organised in collaboration with the Basque Government (Basquetour), Gipuzkoa Provincial Council and Donostia-San Sebastián City Council.

The forum at the Basque Culinary Center will bring together over twenty experts in both sectors.  The event will also feature several workshops where participants will have the opportunity to interact with food and tourism professionals from across the globe and learn more about branding, strategy and key success factors for food tourism destinations among other topics. The Forum will provide a valuable platform to exchange experiences, enhancing the understanding of food tourism and how to successfully manage this growing tourism segment worldwide.

The speakers

The speakers at the event include international experts of the ilk of  Mitsuharu Tsumura, chef at Maido restaurant in Peru;  Jorge Vallejo, chef at Quintonil Restaurant in Mexico; Diane Dodd, Director of the International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism (IGCAT); Rafael Ansón, President of the Spanish Royal Academy of Gastronomy; Sinma DaShow, expert in Street Food and author of Not For Sale; Andrés Rodríguez, founder and owner of Sapainmedia; Erika Kritikides, Intrepid Travel brand and product manager; Enrique Ruiz de Lera, Director of the Spanish Tourist Office in London; the Executive Director of the  World Food Travel Association, Erik Wolf and Chef Pedro Subijana.  The UNWTO Secretary General, Taleb Rifal, will be among the other speakers at the Forum.

The ceremony to open the Forum will take place on Monday 27 with the participation of the UNWTO Secretary General, Taleb Rifai, the Basque Culinary Center General Manager, Joxe Mari Aizega, and representatives of the Basque Government, Gipuzkoa Provincial Council and Donostia-San Sebastián City Council.  This will be followed by brainstorming sessions on the conceptualisation of food tourism, current trends, deconstructing the gourmet tourist or success stories in food tourism.

On Tuesday 28th, the sessions will include forums on Territory and Food Culture, Gastronomy as a Key Factor in Tourism Branding and the New Communication of Food Tourism.

The workshops will be run in a total of 5 rooms, where the following topics will be discussed on Tuesday afternoon: Where to Start with Food Tourism. (Room 1); Keys for Success in a Food Tourism Destination. (Room 2);  Strategy of a Food Tourism Destination. (Room 3); - Protecting and Showcasing Gastronomy and Territory. (Room 4); Branding of Food Tourism Destinations. (Room 5).

The full programme is available at

Donostia, at the centre of world food tourism

The Forum seeks to be an opportunity for leading global experts in Food Tourism to discuss the current situation and the challenges of the tourist sector in different knowledge areas, consumer trends, management events development, communication, etc. The aim is therefore to drive the professional development of the sector, with brainstorming sessions and identifying best practices around the world.

The UNWTO Affiliate Members Programme was the driving force behind the “Global Report on Food Tourism” in 2013. This report analysed the current situation of Food Tourism and contained the reflections of professionals from the tourist and gastronomy sectors with extensive experience in international organisations, in destination management, in tourist companies and in the field of training. Once of the conclusions of the report was the need to drive knowledge, training and research into Food Tourism.


The Basque Culinary Center has been an affiliate member since June with the aim of helping to develop Food Tourism. The World Tourism Organisation is a specialised agency of the United Nations and the main public international organisation in the field of tourism.  Its members include 162 countries and territories and over 400 Affiliate Members that represent the private sector, educational institutions, tourism associations and local tourism authorities.


           V K Comunicación

For further information:

Xusane de Miguel Ortiz.

Tel: 944 01 53 06. Mobile 629 75 33 36.


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