CULINARY TOURISM – Cuisine is geography, history and culture.
20 May 2019

CULINARY TOURISM – Cuisine is geography, history and culture.

Gastronomic tourism is also a great attraction for tourists and visitors.

Gastronomic Forim in Barcelona. FOTO:PERE DURAN

The kitchen as an artistic creation

To taste and enjoy a country’s culinary products is to explore all its traditions at once.

In recent years the cuisine has become indispensable to know the culture and way of life of a territory. Gastronomy represents an opportunity to boost and diversify tourism, promotes local economic development, involves various professional sectors (producers, chefs, markets …) and incorporates new uses to the primary sector.  This gastronomy’s role in the choice of destination and tourism consumption has resulted the growth of a cuisine based on quality indigenous products and in consolidating its own market for gastronomic tourism.

Culinary tourism is the focus on food as an attraction for exploration and a destination for tourism. Although food has always been a part of hospitality services for tourists, it was not emphasized by the tourism industry until the late 1990s. It now includes a variety of formats and products – culinary trails, cooking classes, restaurants, farm weekends, cookbooks, food guides, and new or adapted recipes, dishes, and even ingredients.

Discovering a country’s food and drink; browsing its market stalls; purchasing, tasting and chatting to culinary experts, exploring wine routes… all this is food and wine tourism. Gastronomy can bring great leverage to a country’s economy. France learnt this some time ago, and Italy applies it with brilliant results. The real direct and indirect impact of the restaurant business goes much further than one might originally have thought. Eating as a leisure activity.

The Mediterranean coast of Spain is a popular touristic destination for those looking for beach holidays and high-quality food and wine. You’ve probably heard about the benefits of Spanish Mediterranean diet that has become so popular in the recent years thanks to magazine and newspaper articles and trendy diet books. It contains a great variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables, meat and cheese, legumes, fish and sea products. Almost every meal is accompanied by a glass of delicious wine.

The influence of the gastronomic heritage as a decisive factor in the choice of the destination of the trips.

To taste authentic Mediterranean food the Spanish territory could boast of having various three-star restaurants, sharing the third place with Italy (after Germany and France) in the list of countries with the largest number of three-star restaurants in Europe. El Celler de Can Roca (Girona), Akelarre and Arzak (San Sebastian) and Martin Berasategui are among the best Spanish restaurants that have received three stars from Michelin guide experts.

Catalonia boasts a host of gastronomic activities. Is a country with traditions going back more than a thousand years, a land with its own culture and language that enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate and an unrivalled natural diversity. It is a country built on a wealth of contrasts that make the customs, traditions and people of Catalonia absolutely unique.

To enter Catalan territory is to immerse oneself in an unimaginable sea of possibilities: to discover charming villages; to commune with nature; to discover the country’s architectural heritage, music and deeply rooted traditions; to do business; or, simply, to relax by the sea.

The features that differentiate Catalonia, making our country stand out from the rest, are also evident in the region’s culinary culture that have sea and mountain; tradition and innovation; and a wealth of quality local products.

Products of local agriculture

GASTRONOMY and WINE TOURISM

Another good thing about wine tourism in Spain is that it can easily be combined with the excellent gastronomy of Spain. Spanish gastronomy is considered one of the best in the world for its quality and variety. In fact, Spain is home to one of the best restaurants in the world: El Celler de Can Roca in Girona. Each region has its own local cuisine whose dishes are best understood when paired with the wines from their respective regions.

A sure way to enjoy the local food with its wine is to treat yourself to lunch at a winery. Many wineries and caves already offer guided tours and associated activities. The only difficulty, if time is limited, will be to choose the route amongst all the different possibilities.


Panoramic wiev of the Fira Barcelona venue, home to numerous conferences and meetings

BARCELONA continues in the TOP5 of Meetings Tourism destinations

The new ICCA ranking of congresses that has just been published places Barcelona in first place in the number of delegates that have participated in the different congresses, conventions and meetings organized in 2018. The city is also the fourth in the number of congresses organized international and continues in the Top 5 after 19 years. It has become the only city not capital of state that maintains this privileged position. The city is consolidated as a benchmark for meetings in a year 2018 record in economic impact, overnight stays and average stay of congressmen. The ICCA is an association founded in 1963 and brings together the best specialists in the services, transport and international events organization sector. This network, present in 88 countries, is currently headquartered in Amsterdam.

According to the ranking of the ICCA (International Association of Congresses and Conventions), Barcelona has obtained the first place in participants in congresses, with more than 135,000 delegates, while it occupies the fourth place in the number of congresses with 163, which allows it to continue staying in this Top 5 for nineteen consecutive years. The number of delegates has been ahead of Paris, Vienna, Munich and Berlin.

As for organized conferences, Paris leads with 212 events, well ahead of Vienna, which ranks second (172) and Madrid, which returns to the top 5, with 165 congresses, while Barcelona is fourth with 163 and, finally, Berlin with 162. The differences so adjusted between the second and the fifth position make these cities alternate in the ranking of this ranking.

Meeting tourism promotion stand

As for organized conferences, Paris leads with 212 events, well ahead of Vienna, which ranks second (172) and Madrid, which returns to the top 5, with 165 congresses, while Barcelona is fourth with 163 and, finally, Berlin with 162. The differences so adjusted between the second and the fifth position make these cities alternate in the ranking of this ranking.

In this same ICCA meeting, in which the report was made public, it was also unanimously agreed to appoint Crhistoph Tessmar, director of the Barcelona Convention Bureau, as president of ICCA for Spain and Portugal until 2021.


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