Gastrotourism & the treasures of the Greek land at the center of attraction
The Gastronomy Forum once again proved to be a reference event for chefs, F & B managers and all food service professionals in general.
The new global travel trends in gastrotourism, agrotourism and wine tourism and the opportunities they offer in promoting our national gastronomy and by extension the Greek tourism product were at the center of the presentations, lectures and impressive live cooking shows that took place on the stage of the Gastronomy Forum.
Liakris Elias (Owner Paragea olive oil factor), Liakris Vasilis (Communication Manager Paragea olive oil factor)
Pandazis Pastras (Head of Research TOPOSOPHY), Angeliki Karagouni (Content Manager SETE), Aris Ekkos (Scientific Director of INSETE), Giouli Spyropoulou, (Marketing Manager Marketing Greece)
Gastronomy tourism: A new travel trend
Gastronomy tourism is increasingly gaining ground and is now one of the biggest ‘travel’ trends, while gastronomy is a factor that enhances travel experience and upgrades the tourism product. This trend was analyzed in detail in the panel discussion held by INSETE (Greek Tourism Confederation Institute). The basic trends that were highlighted were sustainable development and providing visitors with experiences on the triptych: quality, authenticity and living experience. It was also equally deemed necessary to associate each product with the right marketing and the right public, and to train stakeholders on the entire value chain, from the producer to the restaurant owner. Finally, extensive reference was made to the synergies required to enhance the visitor’s travel experience.
Giannis Gavalas (ex. Chef - Owner of Araklia)
Alexandros Tsiotinis (ex. Chef ctc resto)
International gastrotourism trends
Of particular interest was the section on global trends in Gastrotourism and Wine Tourism. There was a presentation of 24 international examples of gastrotourism activities, which can also inspire the domestic tourism industry. At the heart of everything were the products and flavors of each place. Thus, some of the most interesting relevant action initiatives that many international destinations have taken on a local level are the guided tours, which combine food with the architecture and history of each place, actions that link wellness with culinary tourism, self-guided food tours, and the food bike and food moto tours.
With regard to Wine Tourism, some of the most interesting trends are the participation of visitors in the grape harvest, the overall wine tourism experience, as well as modern wine tours that combine tasteful wine tasting with history, nature, art, architecture, or the music of every place.
Ex. chef Dotsios Adamos
Anthi Kakiou (EFET), Vassilis Zambounis (agroeconomist - journalist), Panagiotis Stamboulidis (Secretary General Commerce and Consumer), George Boskos (Professor at Harokopio University), Miltos Karoumbas (Ambassador of Hellenic Gastronomy of Greece’s Chefs Club), Tasos Tolis (Honorable President of Greece’s Chefs Club)
Olive oil in food service
Another panel discussion that raised the public’s interest was the one on olive oil in food service, in which was announced the new ministerial decision on the compulsory sale of only bottled olive oil and / or disposable bottles of olive oil in restaurants and hotels, in the aim to implement the ban on selling bulk olive oil more effectively. The panel also discussed how tourists could become advertisers of the Greek olive oil, while a spokesman of the Hellenic Food Authority (EFET) analyzed the agency’s actions to protect the Greek product. Also, experienced chefs highlighted the health benefits of olive oil and its multiple uses in cooking, while the development model of olive-gastronomy and olive-oil tourism was analyzed using examples from international experience.
Successful gastrotourism case studies
Across the four days of the exhibition there were presentations of successful case studies of companies from various parts of Greece that have managed to become gastronomic destinations for travelers. In particular, executives and owners from the Vioma Naxos, the Mykonian spiti, the “Gastrodromio En Olimpo” restaurant, the Amillos cooking & pastry experience, the Eumelia hotels in Gouves Laconia, the Skiros palace, the Paragaea old olive oil factory in Parga and the Papagiannakos Winery, talked about their contribution to the promotion and advancement of Greek gastronomy.
Efi Spiropoulou (Thesauri Caviar), Tasos Tolis (Ex. Chef)
Highlights of the Awards for Best Gastronomic Destinations – Restaurants in Greece
Traditional flavors & impressive cooking shows
The great nutritional value, the tremendous cooking potential of Greek products, and the ways with which a tourism professional can utilize the local products and the local cuisine to offer the traveler unique new experiences, have been at the heart of the live cooking show. Products such as Arta’s caviar, honey, Kozani’s saffron, Chios mastic, snails, Greek fish, P.D.O. cheeses from the Aegean region, Corinthian raisins, Greek mushrooms, truffle and ouzo, were presented through live cooking shows by experienced and famous chefs.
The presentation by chief ex. Officer Stelios Grigoriadis of the international gastronomy institution Gault Millau, and the live cooking show of the chef of Gault Millau Stéphane Perrotte and the chef of the French Embassy in Greece Jean-Marie Hoffmann, gave the event an international air.
Finally, the Chefs Club of Greece and the HORECA trade show launched during its 15th event “The Best Gastronomic Destinations – Restaurants” awards, to honour the restaurants and hotels that support Greek gastro-tourism. See details and photos on awards given here.