The UNWTO, Basque Culinary Centre, VisitFlanders and the city of Bruges have announced new dates for the 6th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism. This year, with the theme “Gastronomy Tourism: Promoting Rural Tourism and Regional Development”, the Forum will take place 31 October – 2 November 2021 in Bruges, Belgium.

The Forum has been co-organised by the World Tourism Organisation and the BCC since 2015 with the aim of promoting the exchange of experiences between experts in tourism and gastronomy, identifying good practices and promoting gastronomy tourism as a driver of sustainable development.

“There is no better time than now to re-shape the future for food and tourism,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili. “Gastronomy continues to prove its ability to help destinations diversify and to stimulate economic development in destinations all around the world. This is especially true for rural communities where it can help preserve the identity and authenticity of local traditions.”

This year’s event will focus on the contribution of gastronomy tourism to social and economic integration. It will also highlight its untapped potential for job creation, regional cohesion and sustainable growth. Building on UNWTO’s work on advancing innovation across the tourism sector, the Forum also represents a unique opportunity for experts from across the growing field of gastronomy tourism to share new ideas and best practices and place the two sectors at the centre of plans for recovery.

In order to welcome and connect participants from around the world, the Forum will be held in a hybrid format. This way, delegates meeting in the Concertgebouw of Bruges will be joined virtually by participants from every global region via a special online platform.

Meanwhile, in 2021 the Basque Culinary Centre celebrates its 10th anniversary. Since its origin, the institution has developed its 360° vision of gastronomy through different initiatives and projects.

Photo: Hong Kong crab – by Vernon Raineil Cenzon / Unsplash

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