The European Committee of the Regions’ Commission for Social Policy, Education, Employment, Research and Culture (SEDEC) and the Cantabria Region organized a European Conference held in Santander on April 30th. The Conference “Cultural heritage and sustainable tourism as key contributors to local and regional development” aimed at assessing the contribution of cultural heritage and sustainable tourism to regional development. The event was the summit of the 3rd SEDEC meeting, and gathered policy-makers from all levels of government, representatives of cultural heritage organisations and academia around the two following themes:
· European Cultural Heritage – source and resource
· Cultural heritage and sustainable tourism for local and regional development
IGCAT was invited to this major event to present the European Region of Gastronomy project. Diane Dodd, director of IGCAT, stressed the goal of the awards which looks for contribution to better quality of life in European regions, by highlighting distinctive food cultures, educating for better health and sustainability and stimulating gastronomic innovation. European Region of Gastronomy is also a network involving academic, public and private stakeholders who share knowledge and experience in order to support smart, sustainable and inclusive growth of the regions. With this presentation, Diane invited the regions to see the opportunities that food is creating for new creative and cultural industries, and to join the project which will be officially launched on July 2nd in Barcelona at the famous La Pedrera Building.
The main speakers of the Conference included Yoomi Renström, SEDEC Chair, José María Lasalle Ruiz, Spanish Secretary of State for Culture, Juan Ignacio Diego Palacios, President of Cantabria, Cristina Mazas Pérez-Oleaga, Cantabria’s Minister for Economic Affairs and Employment and CoR member, and Iñigo de la Serna, Mayor of Santander.