According to the report of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD, 2008), 25% of travelers consider food when deciding on a trip, and 58% are interested in taking a gastronomic trip, which It has already been proven in countries like Spain, which in 2015 had 8.4 million international visitors motivated by its gastronomy.
Hence, the Costa Rican Chamber of Restaurants CACORE in conjunction with the UTUR, proposed to bring to the country an expert on the subject of gastronomic tourism, to start working in a sustainable and strong way.
“Costa Rica is a country that assumes the challenge of consolidating a sustainable, healthy gastronomy with identity, which covers a wide range including the traditional and innovative, as a fundamental part of its development model, this based on the philosophy of the National Plan of the Costa Rican and Healthy Gastronomy, PNGCSS, being so it is necessary to accept that gastronomy is a tourist product”, highlighted Alejandro Madrigal, Executive Director of CACORE and Executive Coordinator of PNGCSS
One of the objectives of this workshop is to help understand and recognize the dimension of gastronomy as a main motivation for making a tourist trip, the reason for being the tourist event.
“Unfortunately, many of the gastronomic and tourist service providers have not evolved at the same time, so” the great challenge is that in Costa Rica, when creating services, gastronomic businesses, routes (urban and rural), products and destinations in a planned way, the gastronomic tourism is considered as a priority tourist product as soon as possible as it increases the displacement of national and international visitors, generates job sources and new job opportunities for graduates of specialized academic institutions but above all benefits to service providers and host communities”, Madrigal states.
Dr. Montecinos mentioned that the main problem that has inhibited the development of Gastronomic Tourism is the disorderly growth and the negative effects mainly on social groups in the region due to the lack of a plan, programs and projects for at least 25 years, “so Gastronomic tourism cannot exist without a sustainable regional food security system whose priority is to grant benefits to local communities with a food system that is born on earth and ends on it”.
Costa Rica has an invaluable inventory and intangible, material and mixed gastronomic heritage to be able to have in Gastronomic Tourism an excellent source of income, by promoting the movement of tourists and national and international visitors for dishes, drinks, experiences and inspirations based on their resources, products and attractions, if it is truly considered by different sectors as a Priority Tourist Product, which several countries such as Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, have already done it. Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Peru, which has generated a gastronomic revolution in America to which Costa Rica must join as soon as possible.
Justification for Gastronomic Tourism Country
The diversification of the tourism product with the growing segment of the gastronomic market worldwide, through the implementation of a gastronomic and tourist planning, promotion and marketing model whose priority is to offer a tool to put potential markets in direct contact with the providers of services avoiding intermediaries, enhancing benefits to host communities and vulnerable social groups, as well as to the entire chain of services, gastronomic and tourist establishments and other related sectors.
Some relevant facts to consider about current and future tourist gastronomy
1. Leading countries that consider it a priority product: Spain Peru, Italy, France, Mexico, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Colombia etc.
2. Gastronomy Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, recognized by Unesco on November 16, 2010 in Nairobi, Kenya, when adding to the representative list of heritage the records of: Mexico –Traditional Mexican cuisine, community, ancestral and living culture-: The Paradigm of Michoacán and France – the gastronomic food of the French -.
3. According to the report of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development -OECD- (2008)
-25% of travelers consider food when deciding on a trip.
-58% are interested in taking a gastronomic trip.
-It is the highest average spending segment and doubles that of sun and beach
4. Being considered cultural heritage, the tourist who travels for this motivation has a level
higher socioeconomic level that seeks to support the sustainability of the country and destination you visit, therefore
that the stay and economic benefit in the communities is greater than that of other segments.
5. The current tourist seeks diversification in their travel motivations so that gastronomic tourism
offers a wide range of services, products, routes and destinations to be developed and commercialized.
6. It generates displacement to the rural areas of the country where the most social groups vulnerable that make up the food system are found.
7. Greater gastronomic recognitions worldwide by UNESCO will be increased in the future, as Cultural Heritage, Intangible Landscapes, Mixed, and Natural ……,
8. Tourism markets demand more services, products and gastronomic cultural destinations, sustainably planned offering unique and authentic food, drinks, and experiences.
9. Preserve gastronomic heritage, plan, and manage restaurants, hotels, products, services, urban and rural routes to achieve successful gastronomic and tourist destinations quantitatively and qualitatively as an excellent complementary growth alternative, which contributes to respectful, ethical and peaceful way to sustainable local and regional social development.
10. Preparation of a cross-cutting and multidisciplinary agenda for the development of gastronomy and sustainable gastronomic tourism with priority public policies.