With a view to develop a long-term strategy to secure a sustainable future based on cultural and food diversity, the Kvarner Region (Croatia) officially joined the World Regions of Gastronomy Platform and aims to present a candidacy for the European Region of Gastronomy 2026 title.
A protocol agreement was signed between President of IGCAT, Diane Dodd, PhD and Director of Kvarner Region Tourist Board, Irena Peršić Živadinov, PhD on behalf of the Kvarner Regional Stakeholder Committee, on 14 June 2023, in the framework of the 26th IGCAT Best Practices Platform Meeting, held in Hauts-de-France, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2023.
“With more than 170 years of hospitality experience; with its focus on landscape, nature, health and wellness, we will learn so much from having this region in the Platform. Adding to this culinary and cultural diversity will provide real potential for a tremendously successful European Region of Gastronomy. I am convinced Kvarner’s journey to the title will bring many new, surprising and delightful opportunities for the region,” explained Diane Dodd.
“Since the beginning of its almost thirty years of activity, the Kvarner Region Tourist Board has considered gastronomy an important part of the tourist offer – equally as a reason to visit the region but also because good food is a powerful memory. The Kvarner gourmet scene is one of the trademarks of the region. As a Croatian region that connects the Mediterranean with the continent, Kvarner Region offers a truly diverse cuisine rich in aromas and flavours. Thanks to the geographical position of the coastal areas, islands and the mountainous region of Gorski kotar, this is a part of Croatia where various influences have intertwined for centuries. That is why today gastronomy is part of the identity and culture of the people of the Kvarner Region. In recent years, thanks to the growing trend of going back to the roots meaning traditional and sustainable, the key word in gastronomy and wine tourism is local, which adds value and attractiveness. So, it is quite certain that the business platform and the title European Region of Gastronomy will enable our region to highlight its special features on the international market through participation and presence in platform activities, such as the exchange of experiences with partners and competitive regions in Europe, through various professional competitions and educational intitiatives (most often webinars), encouraging creativity and developing awareness of sustainable tourism. We expect joining the project and continue an even more intensive cooperation and dialogue with our domestic sector of wine and gastronomy, as well as including other entities at the destination – for example regional producers, hotel and catering facilities, educational institutions and competence centres with programmes related to wine and gastronomy,” explained Irena Peršić Živadinov.
Kvarner Region’s candidacy is supported by a regional committee of founding stakeholders composed of public, private, third sector and knowledge institutions: the Primorje-Gorski kotar County; the Kvarner Region Tourist Board; the Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management of Opatija; and the Kvarner Wines Cooperative.
By joining the World Regions of Gastronomy Platform, they committed to work together to safeguard and promote the region’s distinct food, culture, arts and natural assets and capitalise on them to support local sustainable development. At a regional level, this will be achieved by intensifying cooperation among all local actors and uniting them under a common vision for the region.
At an international level, Kvarner will collaborate with the other member regions of the Platform by taking part in joint projects and exchanging knowledge and best practices.
About the World/European Regions of Gastronomy
World/European Regions of Gastronomy, guided by IGCAT, are working together to strengthen food security through the celebration of distinctive food cultures; create employment by stimulating creativity and gastronomic innovation; nourish children and adults through culinary and cultural education; driving environmental sustainability in tourism, hospitality and agricultural sectors; supporting balance and sustainable tourism practices; highlighting and supporting expertise from within rural and urban communities, creating connections and sharing good practices; and contributing to community health and well-being.
IGCAT aims to empower local communities by raising awareness of the importance of protecting and promoting distinct regional food, culture, arts and natural assets as part of sustainable and balanced tourism and development strategies. This is essential to safeguarding our planet, health, wellness and local economies.
IGCAT is a non-profit institute established in 2012, working with regional stakeholder consortiums in the fields of gastronomy, culture, arts and tourism. It counts on the expertise of a worldwide network of experts and works in partnership with specialised intergovernmental organisations.
IGCAT founded the World/European Region of Gastronomy Award and is the official secretariat for the World/European Regions of Gastronomy Platforms. Furthermore, the Institute has developed the European Young Chef Award, the World Food Gift Challenge, the Top Websites for Foodie Travelers Award and the international Food Film Menu.