Under the project Promoting Competitiveness and Innovation of Oviedo’s Tourism SMEs promoted by the Municipality of Oviedo and EOI Business School, a series of seminars are taking place in the month of April. The series covers a range of topics from tourism, gastronomy and communication trends. The targeted audience includes local enterprises, tourism associations, entrepreneurs and students that look to launch innovative ideas within the tourism sector. The final goal is to create a platform to channel the supply and demand of tourism in Oviedo.
Diane Dodd, director of IGCAT, coordinating body for the European Region of Gastronomy award, was invited to participate in the seminar which took place 14 April 2015. She gave a presentation about cultural and food diversity and the efforts of IGCAT regarding this topic. The IGCAT presentation covered issues such as concern that fewer and fewer owners dominate cultural and food markets, globalized diets, unhealthy eating habits, loss of traditions and customs associated with food cultures, sustainable tourism models among other current issues. Culture and food diversity are important for sustainability, social cohesion, education, health and the economy. IGCAT has been monitoring exciting grass-roots trends where there is a convergence of landscape, agriculture, gastronomy, cultures, arts and hospitality. The main argument Diane shared at the conference is that support for food and cultural diversity can feed new tourism initiatives, support SMEs and provide a platform for gastrodiplomacy.
In total 5 experts shared their visions on gastronomy and tourism with 30 minutes presentations followed by a discussion panel moderated by Carmen Ortiz, founder of “G de Gastronomía” an awarded online community blog for food lovers. Other speakers included Tino Otero, talking about the experience of workshops on the use of algae in the kitchen, Carlotta Casciola who share her vision on the gastronomy as the central axis of travel, and Luis Veira and Pedro Tasende who talked about innovation and communication in gastronomy respectively.