IGCAT participated in a Gastronomy and Tourism debate

IGCAT participated in a Gastronomy and Tourism debate that took place, 1 September 2015 in Tossa de Mar, where the main subject was the importance of communication and gastro-journalism for gastro-destinations.

The seminar, designed by LABPATC, IBERTUR and UB and hosted by the city of Tossa de Mar, is part of a strategy for the city to  promote and  reinvent the image of Tossa de Mar as a gastro- destination.

The venue gathered different representative institutions to debate related issues and was introduced by Àngels Pujals Vila (Tossa De Mar’s Tourism Councillor) and Dr. Jordi Tresserras (LABPTAC, University of Barcelona, Ibertur, UNESCO).

During the morning, participants had a very constructive debate, thanks to Toni Massanés (Fundació Alicia’s Director) and Dr. Xavier Medina (UNESCO, UOC) who were leading the meeting.

The importance of marketing and branding gastronomy to promote a destination  such as Tossa de Mar was considered by:

Pepa Aymamí Institut Català de la Cuina i la Cultura Gastromomica), Tana Collados(TV3), Dr. Diane Dodd (IGCAT/European Region of Gastronomy), Salvador Garcia-Arbós (Siete Canibales, Cuina.cat and Girona’s magazine), Josep Sucarrats Miró, Cuina.cat Director.

The debate underlined the importance of a long-term strategy and in this respect, IGCAT hopes that participants will join the stakeholders already committed to Catalonia, European Region of gastronomy 2016 to put into place a long-term strategy that will capitalize on the awarded title for many years to come.

The initiative being undertaken in Toss de Mar will not only benefit the city but will, together with many other great initiatives, such as IGCAT in Sant Pol de Mar,  Fundació Alicia in Bagés, Catalonia Regió Europeu de gastronomia 2016 and the Cuina Catalana Campaign, promote and intensify internationally the image of Catalonia as a gastro-destination.

Tana Collados noted that visibility is key (if you are not visible you dont exist)  and therefore more communication initiatives are necessary at international, regional and local level.  At the same time, it was noted that the quality of gastro-tourism offers has still room for improvement and innovation.

Diane Dodd added that independent tourists not only seek out good food but also look for experiences that combine ambience, environment and good quality food and when they find these experiences they are not only willing to pay much more but, they also tell their friends. Social media is becoming a powerful communicator and therefore giving visitors a good experience is paramount.

There is a need for all stakeholders to sign up to a clear and long-term strategy and to work together and get the most from all the great work being done by the different organizations throughout Catalonia.

Following the debate, participants Àngels Pujals Vila (Tossa De Mar’s Tourism Councillor) presented Tossa de Mars  new culinary campaign “Cuina del Cim-i-Tomba” and  followed by a tasting of local gastronomy.

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