Tourism, gastronomy and wine are inseparable in Europe

An international conference of the Iter Vitis European Cultural Route, took place in Motovun, Istria County on November 14-16, where IGCAT’s President was a key note speaker.

The From heritage to brand conference, held as part of the Iter Vitis European Cultural Route General Assembly, brought together more than 200 experts, tourism employees, winemakers and representatives of institutions from 11 countries.

Franjo Matusic, State Secretary at the Ministry of Tourism, said Croatia had an exceptional cultural heritage because different cultures mixed throughout its history, and that 12 European cultural routes, including Iter Vitis, passed through it.

Diane Dodd from IGCAT noted that the international distinction from the Council of Europe is a seal that highlights cultural routes with a high educational value in regards to the history of civilisations.

Assistant Regional Development and EU Funds Minister Stella Arneri said environmental protection and rural tourism were important for a sustainable vision of development. This vision is centred on the rich cultural heritage which, included in cultural routes, gains additional visibility and protection, she added.

Iter Vitis Director Emanuela Panke said wine had always been linked to tradition, identity and lifestyle as well as being one of the key instruments of intercultural dialogue.

The Iter Vitis European Cultural Route passes through 20 states and Croatia joined it in March this year. The route encourages the development of wine destinations.

Cultural routes facilitate the development of rural areas and year-round tourism, and joining Iter Vitis is in line with Croatia’s tourism development strategy until 2020, said Dijana Katica, president of a Croatian Tourism and Rural Development Association.


IGCAT aims to empower local communities by raising awareness of the importance to safeguard and promote distinct food, culture, arts and sustainable tourism assets. This is essential to balance against globalised food trends that are impacting on our planet, health 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 provides the Region of Gastronomy Award and is the official secretariat for the European Region of Gastronomy Platform. Furthermore, the Institute has developed the European Young Chef Award the Local Food Gift Challenge, the Top Visitor Experience and the Food Film Menu.